Dr. Blount's research is aimed at determining molecular, biochemical, and biophysical mechanisms underlying an organisms’ ability to detect mechanical forces. Such mechanosensation is necessary not only in our sense of touch, but in the ear for hearing and balance, as well as cardiovascular regulation. Because of its tractability and simplicity, he has primarily studied mechanosensitive channels in bacteria.
Dr. Blount’s laboratory utilizes a multidisciplinary approach that includes microbial genetics, biochemical, biophysical and electrophysiological approaches to explore the general functional principles of biological mechanosensors.
His work has also recently expanded to include investigating the potential use of bacterial mechanosensors as potential drug targets, developing them into ‘triggered nanovalves’ that could be used in drug-release devices or “smart” contrasts for MRI, and the biophysical characterization of candidate mammalian mechanosensitive channels.
- University of California-San D (1983)
- Graduate School
- Washington University (1990)
- Bacterial channels
- mechanosensitive channels
- Microbial homeostasis
- Engineering a pH-Sensitive Liposomal MRI Agent by Modification of a Bacterial Channel.
- Yang LM, Zheng H, Ratnakar JS, Adebesin BY, Do QN, Kovacs Z, Blount P Small 2018 Apr e1704256
- Dihydrostreptomycin Directly Binds to, Modulates, and Passes through the MscL Channel Pore.
- Wray R, Iscla I, Gao Y, Li H, Wang J, Blount P PLoS Biol. 2016 Jun 14 6 e1002473
- A new antibiotic with potent activity targets MscL.
- Iscla I, Wray R, Blount P, Larkins-Ford J, Conery AL, Ausubel FM, Ramu S, Kavanagh A, Huang JX, Blaskovich MA, Cooper MA, Obregon-Henao A, Orme I, Tjandra ES, Stroeher UH, Brown MH, Macardle C, van Holst N, Ling Tong C, Slattery AD, Gibson CT, Raston CL, Boulos RA J. Antibiot. 2015 Feb
- Electrostatics at the membrane define MscL channel mechanosensitivity and kinetics.
- Zhong D, Blount P FASEB J. 2014 Sep
- Dynamics of Protein-Protein Interactions at the MscL Periplasmic-Lipid Interface.
- Zhong D, Yang LM, Blount P Biophys. J. 2014 Jan 106 2 375-81
- Streptomycin potency is dependent on MscL channel expression.
- Iscla I, Wray R, Wei S, Posner B, Blount P Nat Commun 2014 5 4891
- Phosphatidylinositol is crucial for the mechanosensitivity of Mycobacterium tuberculosis MscL.
- Zhong D, Blount P Biochemistry 2013 Jul
- Chimeras Reveal a Single Lipid-Interface Residue that Controls MscL Channel Kinetics as well as Mechanosensitivity.
- Yang LM, Zhong D, Blount P Cell Rep 2013 Feb
- Improving the Design of a MscL-Based Triggered Nanovalve (http://www.mdpi.com/2079-6374/3/1/171)
- Iscla I., Eaton C., Parker, J., Wray, R., Kovács, Z., Blount P. Biosensors 2013 1 3 171-184
- The dynamics of protein-protein interactions between domains of MscL at the cytoplasmic-lipid interface.
- Iscla I, Wray R, Blount P Channels (Austin) 2012 Jul-Aug 6 4 255-61
MscL: The bacterial mechanosensitive channel of large conductance. In Mechanosensitive Ion Channels (a volume in the Current Topics in Membranes series)
Blount, P., Iscla, I., Moe, P. C. Li, Y. (2007). St. Louis, MO, Elsievier Press
Mechanosensitive channels gated by membrane tension: Bacteria and beyond.. In Mechanosensitive ion channels (a volume in the Mechanosensitivity in Cells and Tissues, Moscow Academia series)
Blount, P., Li, Y., Moe, P. C., Iscla, I. (2008). New York, Springer Press
- Member of the American Society for Microbiology
- Member of the Biophysical Society