Membrane curvature governs the distribution of Piezo1 in live cells

Shilong Yang, Xinwen Miao, Steven Arnold, Boxuan Li, Alan T. Ly, Huan Wang, Matthew Wang, Xiangfu Guo, Medha M. Pathak, Wenting Zhao, Charles D. Cox, Zheng Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Piezo1 is a bona fide mechanosensitive ion channel ubiquitously expressed in mammalian cells. The distribution of Piezo1 within a cell is essential for various biological processes including cytokinesis, cell migration, and wound healing. However, the underlying principles that guide the subcellular distribution of Piezo1 remain largely unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that membrane curvature serves as a key regulator of the spatial distribution of Piezo1 in the plasma membrane of living cells. Piezo1 depletes from highly curved membrane protrusions such as filopodia and enriches to nanoscale membrane invaginations. Quantification of the curvature-dependent sorting of Piezo1 directly reveals the in situ nano-geometry of the Piezo1-membrane complex. Piezo1 density on filopodia increases upon activation, independent of calcium, suggesting flattening of the channel upon opening. Consequently, the expression of Piezo1 inhibits filopodia formation, an effect that diminishes with channel activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7467
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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