Role of microtubules in Piezo2 mechanotransduction of mouse Merkel cells

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Chang W, Gu JG. Role of microtubules in Piezo2 mechanotransduction of mouse Merkel cells. J Neurophysiol 124: 1824-1831, 2020. First published October 21, 2020; doi:10.1152/jn.00502.2020.-Piezo2 channels are expressed in Merkel cells and somatosensory neurons to mediate mechanotransduction leading to the sense of touch. Components of the cytoskeleton including microtubules are key intracellular structures that maintain cellular membrane mechanics and thereby may be important in mechanotransduction. In the present study, we have explored, with microtubule-targeting agents, the potential role of microtubules in Piezo2-mediated mechanotransduction in Merkel cells of mouse whisker hair follicles. Applying patch-clamp recordings to Merkel cells in situ in whisker hair follicles, we show that Piezo2-mediated mechanically activated (MA) currents in Merkel cells are significantly potentiated by the microtubule stabilizer paclitaxel but reduced by the microtubule destabilizer vincristine. Furthermore, electrophysiological recordings made from whisker hair follicle afferent nerves show that mechanically evoked whisker afferent impulses are significantly enhanced by paclitaxel and its analog docetaxel but significantly suppressed by vincristine and its analog vinblastine. Our findings suggest that microtubules play an essential role in Piezo2 mechanotransduction in Merkel cells. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Piezo2 channels are expressed in Merkel cells to mediate mechanotransduction leading to the sense of touch. Here we determined the role of microtubules in regulating Piezo2-mediated mechanotransduction in Merkel cells. Piezo2-mediated currents in Merkel cells are potentiated by microtubule stabilizer paclitaxel but reduced by microtubule destabilizer vincristine. Mechanically evoked afferent impulses are also enhanced by microtubule stabilizers and suppressed by microtubule destabilizers. Microtubules may play an essential role in Piezo2 mechanotransduction in Merkel cells.
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    Author List

  • Chang W; Gu JG
  • Start Page

  • 1824
  • End Page

  • 1831
  • Volume

  • 124
  • Issue

  • 6