Polycystins are a family of conserved ion channels, mutations of which lead to one of the most common human genetic disorders, namely, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Schizosacchromyces pombe possesses an essential polycystin homologue, Pkd2, which directs Ca2+ influx on the cell surface in response to membrane tension, but its structure remains unsolved. Here, we analyzed the structure–function relationship of Pkd2 based on its AlphaFold-predicted structure. Pkd2 consists of three domains, the extracellular lipid-binding domain (LBD), nine-helix transmembrane domain (TMD) and C-terminal cytoplasmic domain (CCD). Our genetic and microscopy data revealed that LBD and TMD are essential for targeting Pkd2 to the plasma membrane from the endoplasmic reticulum. In comparison, CCD ensures the polarized distribution of Pkd2 by promoting its internalization and preventing its clustering in the eisosome, a caveolae-like membrane compartment. The domains of Pkd2 and their functions are conserved in other fission yeast species. We conclude that both extracellular and cytoplasmic domains of Pkd2 are crucial for its intracellular trafficking and function. We propose that mechanosensitive channels can be desensitized through either internalization or clustering in low-tension membrane compartments.

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