- Hv1 mechanosensitivity
Hv1 is a voltage-gated proton channel that is composed of two voltage-sensing domains, each of which is permeable to protons. Pathak et al. find that these voltage-sensing domains are mechanosensitive and that membrane stretch results in a long-lived facilitation of Hv1 activation.
- Alcohol and BK channel gating
Large conductance K+ channels of the slo1 family are gated by Ca2+ and voltage and either inhibited or potentiated by ethanol. Kuntamallappanavar and Dopico analyze the effects of ethanol in detail and find that the absence or presence of β subunits leads to differential modification of channel gating parameters by intoxicating levels of ethanol.
- A role for TMEM16B in olfaction
TMEM16B is expressed in olfactory sensory neurons, but previous attempts to establish a physiological role in olfaction have been unsuccessful. Pietra et al. find that genetic ablation of TMEM16B results in defects in the olfactory behavior of mice and the cellular physiology of olfactory sensory neurons.
- EC coupling in single cardiac sarcomeres
Excitation–contraction coupling results in the shortening of many individual sarcomeres along the length of a muscle fiber. Tsukamoto and colleagues develop a technique to quantitatively analyze the dynamics of intracellular calcium transients and length changes at the single sarcomere level.
- pH-sensing sAC controls lysosome pH
Lysosomes are the main degradative compartment in cells and require an acidic luminal environment for correct function. Rahman et al. show that soluble adenylyl cyclase is required for localization of the V-ATPase proton pump to lysosomes and therefore lysosomal acidification and function.
- Structure of anthrax lethal toxin prepore complex
Anthrax toxin is a tripartite complex in which the protective antigen moiety forms a pore through which lethal factor and edema factor are translocated. Fabre et al. reveal a mechanism for efficient translocation in their structure of the heptameric protective antigen prepore bound to three lethal factors.