Piezo-type mechanosensitive ion channel family is a group of integral membrane proteins that contain 24-40 transmembrane domains. It has been shown that piezo proteins are the mechanosensitive ion channels regulating mechanosensory transduction in numerous eukaryotic cell types. Piezo proteins open and allow positively charged ions including calcium to flow into the cell when exposed to stimuli such as shear stress and membrane stretch. Mechanosensory transduction mediated by piezo proteins plays a very important role in many biological processes including sensing touch, sound waves, regulation of vascular tone, regulating urine flow and bladder distention. Moreover, they are also associated with the regulation of cellular growth, development, migration, and volume. In addition, piezo proteins are involved in a variety of disorders including hereditary xerocytosis, muscular contracture syndromes, Alzheimer disease.
Here show two isoforms of piezo family in humans, PIEZO1 and PIEZO2. They are very large proteins with about 2521 and 2752 amino acids encoded by human gene PIEZO1 and PIEZO2, respectively. The two isoforms share ~50% homology. PIEZO1 is widely expressed in skin, bladder, kidney, lung, endothelial cells, erythrocytes, and periodontal ligament cells. PIEZO2 is primarily expressed in sensory trigeminal ganglia (TG) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG), Merkel cells, lung, and bladder.
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