or stretch-gated ion channels
are ion channels
which open their pores
in response to mechanical deformation of a neuron
's plasma membrane
Though little is known about these channels, they may be linked to molecules in the cytoskeleton
, which may open them by transmitting physical forces of stretch or pressure to the channels, causing them to undergo a conformational change. The channels may also be pulled open due to tension on the membrane itself. Opening the channels allows ions
to which they are permeable to flow down their electrochemical gradients
into or out of the cell
, causing a change in membrane potential
This can also be referred to as the Stress-activated gate because the gate (protein receptor) responds to pressure or stress.
Such channels are of use in the initial formation of an action potential
from a mechanical stimulus, for example by the mechanoreceptors
in an animal's vibrissae
A possible role in myoblast development has been described.
An example is "MID-1" (also known as "MCLC" or CLCC1