The pulmonary epithelial sodium ion channel (ENaC) is gaining importance for its sodium gating and mechanosensitive roles. The mechano functional studies on ENaC suggest direct molecular interactions between the ENaC protein with cytoskeleton microtubules and other extracellular matrix components. Also, in few mechanotransduction studies, ENaC was shown to respond both to membrane stretch as well as cell volume changes. However, the conformational characteristic of ENaC during sodium and mechano gating are yet to be fully elucidated. Thus obtaining ENaC protein conformational spectrum based on Fourier Transform Infrared Radiation (FTIR) spectroscopy in solution will be useful in predicting the nature of conformational changes occurring during any cell volume changes in an epithelial cell. The conformational spectrum looks promising in studying the disease biology of cystic fibrosis (CF) and CF like conditions that arise due to abnormal ion conductance membrane proteins and subsequent frequent fluid retentions. This review article presents the basics of epithelial ENaC protein as a gated mechanosensor and FTIR for developing fluid dynamics of ENaC protein. This can be applied to develop an ENaC based quantum mechanosensor for the prognosis as well as diagnosis of cystic fibrosis (CF) and allied lung diseases.Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Narender K Dhania