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Trends Biochem Sci. 2015 Sep;40(9):535-43. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2015.07.005. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

TMEM16, LRRC8A, bestrophin: chloride channels controlled by Ca(2+) and cell volume.

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Institut für Physiologie, Universität Regensburg, Universitätsstraße 31, 93053 Regensburg, Germany. Electronic address:


For many years Cl(-) transport by ion channels that are controlled by intracellular Ca(2+) or by cell volume remained enigmatic because their molecular identity was unknown. Recent years, however, have shown remarkable progress, and these channels have been identified as TMEM16A (anoctamin 1), LRRC8A (swell 1), and bestrophin 1 (BEST1), and structural information is already available for the Ca(2+)-activated channels bestrophin and TMEM16. While the structure of bestrophin revealed it is an anion-permeable pore, only indirect evidence exists that TMEM16 and LRRC8 form anion channels. This review summarizes the most recent information on the structure, function, and physiological relevance of these anion channel proteins, and highlights their overlapping functions and physiological roles.

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