MOLECULES INVOLVED IN THE SPIDER, CUPIENNIUS SALEI, MECHANOTRANSDUCTION
MetadataShow full item record
The molecular mechanisms involved in mechanical senses such as touch and vibration have been studied for decades using a small number of model preparations in species facilitating genetic manipulation. Recent advances in molecular biology have allowed these studies to expand into wider variety of organisms and preparations. The strain detecting VS-3 slit sensillum of the spider, Cupiennius salei, is an important model because it contains large mechanosensory neurons that allow simultaneous intracellular recording during mechanical stimulation. Messenger RNA sequences encoding members of several putative mechanotransduction channel families have been found in spider transcriptomes. My aim was to discover if any of these molecules were involved in mechanotransduction, using in situ hybridization, pharmacological agents, and RNA interference. Taken together, my results indicate that Piezo protein is the strongest candidate for a VS-3 neuron mechanotransduction channel. However, it is possible that it functions together with an amiloride sensitive epithelial sodium channel.