In bacteria, MscS-type mechanosensitive channels serve to protect cells from lysis as they swell during extreme osmotic stress. We recently showed that two MscS homologs from Arabidopsis thaliana serve a similar purpose in the epidermal plastids of the leaf, indicating that the plant cell cytoplasm can present a dynamic osmotic challenge to the plastid. MscS homologs are predicted to be targeted to both plastids and mitochondrial envelopes and have been found in the genomes of intracellular pathogens. Here we discuss the implications of these observations, and propose that MS channels provide an essential mechanism for osmotic adaptation to both intracellular and the extracellular environments.
Veley, Kira M. and Haswell, Elizabeth S., "Plastids and pathogens: Mechanosensitive channels and survival in a hypoosmotic world" (2012). Biology Faculty Publications & Presentations. 8.
Published in Plant Signaling & Behavior 7:6, 668-671; June 2012; © 2012 Landes Bioscience. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/psb.19991