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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001 Jul;79(7):573-9.

Thiocyanate as a probe of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator chloride channel pore.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada.


Immediately following exposure to thiocyanate (SCN-)-containing solutions, the cystic fibrosis conductance regulator Cl- channel exhibits high unitary SCN conductance and anomalous mole fraction behaviour, suggesting the presence of multiple anion binding sites within the channel pore. However, under steady-state conditions SCN-conductance is very low. Here I show, using patch clamp recording from CFTR-transfected mammalian cell lines, that under steady-state conditions neither SCN- conductance nor SCN- permeability show anomalous mole fraction behaviour. Instead, SCN conductance, permeability, and block of Cl- permeation can all be reproduced by a rate theory model that assumes only a single intrapore anion binding site. These results suggest that under steady-state conditions the interaction between SCN- and the CFTR channel pore can be understood by a simple model whereby SCN- ions enter the pore more easily than Cl-, and bind within the pore more tightly than Cl-. The implications of these findings for investigating and understanding the mechanism of anion permeation are discussed.

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