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The mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) from Escherichia coli is a prototype for the mechanosensitive class of ion channels and opens one of the largest known gated transmembrane pores. As such, MscL offers the structural framework for the development of liposomal nanovalves for biotechnological applications. Here we incorporated MscL into liposomes and investigated the effects of L-α-lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) with varying acyl chain lengths or saturation on its pore gating. This was measured by the efflux of encapsulated 5,6-carboxyfluorescein (CF) from the MscL proteoliposomes. Efflux improved in the presence of shorter and double-bonded LPC acyl chains. It was also dependent on the detergent concentration employed during MscL purification. MscL purified in 2 mM dodecyl β-D-maltopyranoside (DDM) had a marked increase in CF efflux compared to MscL purified in 1 mM DDM when treated with LPC. The purification conditions also resulted in increased efflux from proteoliposomes containing the G22C-MscL pore mutant channel, which requires higher membrane tension for its activation compared to WT-MscL.

Original publication




Journal article


European biophysics journal : EBJ

Publication Date





521 - 530


Institute for Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, 4072, Australia.


Lysophosphatidylcholines, Escherichia coli Proteins, Ion Channels, Liposomes, Ion Channel Gating