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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 26;8(6):e67989. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067989. Print 2013.

Presynaptic Localization and Possible Function of Calcium-Activated Chloride Channel Anoctamin 1 in the Mammalian Retina.

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Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea ; Catholic Neuroscience Institute, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.


Calcium (Ca(2+))-activated chloride (Cl(-)) channels (CaCCs) play a role in the modulation of action potentials and synaptic responses in the somatodendritic regions of central neurons. In the vertebrate retina, large Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) currents (ICl(Ca)) regulate synaptic transmission at photoreceptor terminals; however, the molecular identity of CaCCs that mediate ICl(Ca) remains unclear. The transmembrane protein, TMEM16A, also called anoctamin 1 (ANO1), has been recently validated as a CaCC and is widely expressed in various secretory epithelia and nervous tissues. Despite the fact that tmem16a was first cloned in the retina, there is little information on its cellular localization and function in the mammalian retina. In this study, we found that ANO1 was abundantly expressed as puncta in 2 synaptic layers. More specifically, ANO1 immunoreactivity was observed in the presynaptic terminals of various retinal neurons, including photoreceptors. ICl(Ca) was first detected in dissociated rod bipolar cells expressing ANO1. ICl(Ca) was abolished by treatment with the Ca(2+) channel blocker Co(2+), the L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker nifedipine, and the Cl(-) channel blockers 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino) benzoic acid (NPPB) and niflumic acid (NFA). More specifically, a recently discovered ANO1-selective inhibitor, T16Ainh-A01, and a neutralizing antibody against ANO1 inhibited ICl(Ca) in rod bipolar cells. Under a current-clamping mode, the suppression of ICl(Ca) by using NPPB and T16Ainh-A01 caused a prolonged Ca(2+) spike-like depolarization evoked by current injection in dissociated rod bipolar cells. These results suggest that ANO1 confers ICl(Ca) in retinal neurons and acts as an intrinsic regulator of the presynaptic membrane potential during synaptic transmission.

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