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Plant Cell. 1996 Apr;8(4):701-11.

Cloning and functional expression of a plant voltage-dependent chloride channel.

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Institut des Sciences Végétales, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Gif sur Yvette, France.


Plant cell membrane anion channels participate in basic physiological functions, such as cell volume regulation and signal transduction. However, nothing is known about their molecular structure. Using a polymerase chain reaction strategy, we have cloned a tobacco cDNA (CIC-Nt1) encoding a 780-amino acid protein with several putative transmembrane domains. CIC-Nt1 displays 24 to 32% amino acid identity with members of the animal voltage-dependent chloride channel (CIC) family, whose archetype is CIC-0 from the Torpedo marmorata electric organ. Injection of CIC-Nt1 complementary RNA into Xenopus oocytes elicited slowly activating inward currents upon membrane hyperpolarization more negative than -120 mV. These currents were carried mainly by anions, modulated by extracellular anions, and totally blocked by 10 mM extracellular calcium. The identification of CIC-Nt1 extends the CIC family to higher plants and provides a molecular probe for the study of voltage-dependent anion channels in plants.

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