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Science. 1999 Oct 15;286(5439):544-8.

CFTR chloride channel regulation by an interdomain interaction.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


The cystic fibrosis gene encodes a chloride channel, CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator), that regulates salt and water transport across epithelial tissues. Phosphorylation of the cytoplasmic regulatory (R) domain by protein kinase A activates CFTR by an unknown mechanism. The amino-terminal cytoplasmic tail of CFTR was found to control protein kinase A-dependent channel gating through a physical interaction with the R domain. This regulatory activity mapped to a cluster of acidic residues in the NH(2)-terminal tail; mutating these residues proportionately inhibited R domain binding and CFTR channel function. CFTR activity appears to be governed by an interdomain interaction involving the amino-terminal tail, which is a potential target for physiologic and pharmacologic modulators of this ion channel.

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