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Nature. 2018 Jun;558(7709):254-259. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0134-y. Epub 2018 May 16.

Structure of a volume-regulated anion channel of the LRRC8 family.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Department of Structural Biology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Biochemistry, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. dutzler@bioc.uzh.ch.

Abstract

Volume-regulated anion channels are activated in response to hypotonic stress. These channels are composed of closely related paralogues of the leucine-rich repeat-containing protein 8 (LRRC8) family that co-assemble to form hexameric complexes. Here, using cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography, we determine the structure of a homomeric channel of the obligatory subunit LRRC8A. This protein conducts ions and has properties in common with endogenous heteromeric channels. Its modular structure consists of a transmembrane pore domain followed by a cytoplasmic leucine-rich repeat domain. The transmembrane domain, which is structurally related to connexin proteins, is wide towards the cytoplasm but constricted on the outside by a structural unit that acts as a selectivity filter. An excess of basic residues in the filter and throughout the pore attracts anions by electrostatic interaction. Our work reveals the previously unknown architecture of volume-regulated anion channels and their mechanism of selective anion conduction.

PMID:
29769723
DOI:
10.1038/s41586-018-0134-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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