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
- An in vivo screen reveals protein-lipid interactions crucial for gating a mechanosensitive channel.
- Iscla I, Wray R, Blount P FASEB J. 2011 Feb 25 2 694-702
- Manipulating the permeation of charged compounds through the MscL nanovalve.
- Yang LM, Blount P FASEB J. 2011 Jan 25 1 428-34
- S. aureus MscL is a pentamer in vivo but of variable stoichiometries in vitro: implications for detergent-solubilized membrane proteins.
- Dorwart MR, Wray R, Brautigam CA, Jiang Y, Blount P PLoS Biol. 2010 8 12 e1000555
- An open-pore structure of the mechanosensitive channel MscL derived by determining transmembrane domain interactions upon gating.
- Li Y, Wray R, Eaton C, Blount P FASEB J. 2009 Jul 23 7 2197-204
- On the structure of the N-terminal domain of the MscL channel: helical bundle or membrane interface.
- Iscla I, Wray R, Blount P Biophys. J. 2008 Sep 95 5 2283-91
- Assessment of potential stimuli for mechano-dependent gating of MscL: effects of pressure, tension, and lipid headgroups.
- Moe P, Blount P Biochemistry 2005 Sep 44 36 12239-44
- Ionic regulation of MscK, a mechanosensitive channel from Escherichia coli.
- Li Y, Moe PC, Chandrasekaran S, Booth IR, Blount P EMBO J. 2002 Oct 21 20 5323-30
- One face of a transmembrane helix is crucial in mechanosensitive channel gating.
- Ou X, Blount P, Hoffman RJ, Kung C Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1998 Sep 95 19 11471-5
- A large-conductance mechanosensitive channel in E. coli encoded by mscL alone.
- Sukharev SI, Blount P, Martinac B, Blattner FR, Kung C Nature 1994 Mar 368 6468 265-8
- The mechanosensitive channel of small conductance (MscS) functions as a Jack-in-the box.
- Malcolm HR, Blount P, Maurer JA Biochim. Biophys. Acta 2015 Jan 1848 1 Pt A 159-66
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