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We have successfully expressed and characterized mechanosensitive channel of small conductance (MscS) from Escherichia coli in oocytes of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. MscS expressed in oocytes has the same single-channel conductance and voltage dependence as the channel in its native environment. Two hallmarks of MscS activity, the presence of conducting substates at high potentials and reversible adaptation to a sustained stimulus, are also exhibited by oocyte-expressed MscS. In addition to its ease of use, the oocyte system allows the user to work with relatively large patches, which could be an advantage for the visualization of membrane deformation. Furthermore, MscS can now be compared directly to its eukaryotic homologues or to other mechanosensitive channels that are not easily studied in E. coli.


Published in Journal of General Physiology doi: © 2011 Maksaev and Haswell This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution– Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at

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