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Nature. 1997 Nov 27;390(6658):417-21.

Molecular identification of a volume-regulated chloride channel.

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Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno 89557-0046, USA.


A volume-regulated chloride current (ICl.vol) is ubiquitously present in mammalian cells, and is required for the regulation of electrical activity, cell volume, intracellular pH, immunological responses, cell proliferation and differentiation. However, the molecule responsible for ICl.vol has yet to be determined. Although three putative chloride channel proteins expressed from cloned genes (P-glycoprotein, pICln and ClC-2 ) have been proposed to be the molecular equivalent of ICl.vol, neither P-glycoprotein nor pICln is thought to be a chloride channel or part thereof, and the properties of expressed ClC-2 channels differ from native ICl.vol. Here we report that functional expression in NIH/3T3 cells of a cardiac clone of another member of the ClC family, ClC-3, results in a large basally active chloride conductance, which is strongly modulated by cell volume and exhibits many properties identical to those of ICl.vol in native cells. A mutation of asparagine to lysine at position 579 at the end of the transmembrane domains of ClC-3 abolishes the outward rectification and changes the anion selectivity from I- > Cl- to Cl- > I- but leaves swelling activation intact. Because ClC-3 is a channel protein belonging to a large gene family of chloride channels, these results indicate that ClC-3 encodes ICl.vol in many native mammalian cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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