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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Aug 18;95(17):10240-5.

A sensory neuron-specific, proton-gated ion channel.

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  • 1Molecular Nociception Group, Department of Biology, Medawar Building, University College, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BN, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Proton-gated channels expressed by sensory neurons are of particular interest because low pH causes pain. Two proton-gated channels, acid-sensing ionic channel (ASIC) and dorsal root ASIC (DRASIC), that are members of the amiloride-sensitive ENaC/Degenerin family are known to be expressed by sensory neurons. Here, we describe the cloning and characterization of an ASIC splice variant, ASIC-beta, which contains a unique N-terminal 172 aa, as well as unique 5' and 3' untranslated sequences. ASIC-beta, unlike ASIC and DRASIC, is found only in a subset of small and large diameter sensory neurons and is absent from sympathetic neurons or the central nervous system. The patterns of expression of ASIC and ASIC-beta transcripts in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons are distinct. When expressed in COS-7 cells, ASIC-beta forms a functional channel with electrophysiological properties distinct from ASIC and DRASIC. The pH dependency and sensitivity to amiloride of ASIC-beta is similar to that described for ASIC, but unlike ASIC, the channel is not permeable to calcium, nor are ASIC-beta-mediated currents inhibited by extracellular calcium. The unique distribution of ASIC-beta suggests that it may play a specialized role in sensory neuron function.

PMID:
9707631
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC21492
Free PMC Article
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