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In Focus: Piezo Channels

Mechanical stimulus is the driving force for numerous physiological processes including pain sensation, hearing, and blood pressure regulation2.

Piezo1 and Piezo2 were first characterized in a mouse neuroblastoma cell line, where shear force to the cell membrane induced mechanically activated currents2.

Piezo channels are unusually large ion channels with 38 putative membrane spanning domains. They form trimeric structures that are shaped into a propeller form with three blades assembled around a central pore. Recent structural data reveal that Piezo1 bends the local lipid environment to form a “dome-like” structure. The dome structures are created by the blades in the inactive conformation. Mechanical pressure or tension on the plasma membrane causes a flattening of the dome shape, leading to the subsequent activation of the channel1,3,8,10.

While the race to determining the structure of Piezo channels is at its peak, there are numerous studies on the functional expression and the various roles for Piezo channels. Piezo1 was found to be important for cell volume control of human red blood cells4. The expression and activation of Piezo1 was recently found to optimize human T-cell activation5. Piezo1 also is important for lineage choice in human neural stem cells6 and mesenchymal stem cells9.

Alomone Labs Anti-Piezo1 Antibody (#APC-087) was recently used to determine in part the efficacy of conditional Piezo1 knockouts in pancreas acinar cells (Figure 1)7. In this paper, the authors elegantly show that Piezo1 mediates the development of pancreatit7.

Figure 1. Knockout Validation of Anti-Piezo1 Antibody in Mouse Pancreas.
Immunohistochemical staining of mouse pancreas sections using Anti-Piezo1 Antibody (#APC-087). Piezo1 staining (red) is detected in acinar cells. Piezo1aci KO mice (right panel) do not express Piezo1. Trypsin staining is shown in green nuclei are stained with DAPI (blue).Adapted from Romac, J.M. et al. (2018) Nat. Commun. 9, 1715. with permission of SPRINGER NATURE.

The importance of Piezo channels, namely that of Piezo1, is only just becoming clear, and the best is surely yet to come. Alomone Labs, proudly offers Anti-Piezo1 Antibody which has been tested in western blot and immunohistochemistry applications. With scarce pharmacology, we offer the known and well documented GsMTx-4 (#STG-100), a peptide toxin originally isolated from a tarantula venom and a blocker of Piezo1. Free samples of both products are available!


  1. Chesler, A.T. and Szczot, M. (2018) eLife 7, e34396.
  2. Coste, B. et al. (2010) Science 330, 55.
  3. Ge, J. et al. (2015) Nature 527, 64.
  4. Lew, V.L. and Tiffert, T. (2017) Front. Physiol. 8, 977.
  5. Liu, C.S.C. et al. (2018) J. Immunol. 200, 1255.
  6. Pathak, M.M. et al. (2014) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111, 16148.
  7. Romac, J.M. et al. (2018) Nat. Commun. 9, 1715.
  8. Saotome, K. et al. (2018) Nature 554, 481.
  9. Sugimoto, A. et al. (2017) Sci. Rep. 7, 17696.
  10. Zhao, Q. et al. (2018) Nature 554, 487.