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J Biol Chem. 2005 Feb 25;280(8):6463-70. Epub 2004 Dec 9.

SLC26A7 is a Cl- channel regulated by intracellular pH.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75390-9040, USA.


Members of the SLC26 transporter family play an essential role in several epithelial functions, as revealed by diseases associated with mutations in members of the family. Several members were shown to function as Cl(-) and HCO(3)(-) transporters that likely play an important role in epithelial Cl(-) absorption and HCO(3)(-) secretion. However, the mechanism of most transporters is not well understood. SLC26A7 is a member of the SLC26 transporter family reported to be expressed in the basolateral membrane of the cortical collecting duct and parietal cells and functions as a coupled Cl(-)/HCO(3)(-) exchanger. In the present work we examined the transport properties of SLC26A7 to determine its transport characteristics and electrogenicity. We found that when expressed in Xenopus oocytes or HEK293 cells SLC26A7 functions as a pH(i)-regulated Cl(-) channel with minimal OH(-)/HCO(3)(-) permeability. Expression of SLC26A7 in oocytes or HEK293 cells generated a Cl(-) current with linear I/V and an instantaneous current that was voltage- and time-independent. Based on measurement of reversal potential the selectivity of SLC26A7 is NO(3)(-)>>Cl(-)=Br(-)=I(-)>SO(4)(2-)=Glu(-), although I(-) partially inhibited the current. Incubating the cells with HCO(3)(-) or butyrate acidified the cytosol and increased the selectivity of SLC26A7 for Cl(-). Measurement of membrane potential and pH(i) showed minimal OH(-) and HCO(3)(-) transport by SLC26A7 when the cells were incubated in Cl(-)-containing or Cl(-)-free media. The activity of SLC26A7 was inhibited by all inhibitors of anion transporters tested, 4,4'-diisothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid, diphenylamine-2-carboxylic acid, and glybenclamide. These findings reveal that SLC26A7 functions as a unique Cl(-) channel that is regulated by intracellular H(+).

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