Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Aug 18;95(17):10240-5.

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

Author information

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


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk