Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, August 29 (Reporter Yu Pan) touch, pat, hug ... Do you know how human touch is perceived? Reporter 29 from Tsinghua University was informed that Tsinghua University School of Pharmacy Xiao Bailong task force and the School of Life Sciences Li Xueming task force recently revealed the mechanical molecular subject that gives humanity its own tactile perception - Piezo2 ion channel high-resolution frozen electroscope 3D structure and delicate working mechanism. The findings were published online in the journal Nature.
Xiao Bailong, a researcher at Tsinghua University's School of Pharmacy, said that mechanically sensitive cation channels are a class of ion channels that respond to mechanical stimuli and cause cation penetration, which play an important role in basic life activities such as tactile feeling, auditory feeling, vascular development and blood pressure regulation, and the Piezo gene family is the necessary molecular component to encode the mechanically sensitive cation channels of mammals.
It is learned that the researchers of the two research groups used molecular bio-chemical, single-particle frozen electron mirror technology, electrophysiological diaphragm pliers and other multidisciplinary research methods, after more than 6 years of efforts to overcome the total length of 2822 amino acids of the rat source Piezo2 expression is very low difficulties, obtained a stable and average protein sample for frozen electroscope data collection, and finally successfully analyzed the Piezo2 protein containing 38 trans-membrane spiral region of the complete topology.
"Piezo2 channel can be an important target for the development of new analgesy drugs. For example, touch pain in cancer patients can explore drugs that block or inhibit Piezo2's function and slow the patient's pain, Xiao said.
" analysis of such a large membrane protein structure to determine the spatial location of each atom is technically challenging. Commentators in the journal Nature commented on the study, noting that the Piezo channel is by far the largest known human protein molecular machine with a transfilm helix region, "another important study of the 'resolution revolution' era brought about by single-particle frozen electron mirrors."
Xiao Bailong, the research team will continue to deepen their understanding of the Piezo channel mechanism and work on drug discovery and development of the Piezo channel.