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Kidney Int Suppl. 1998 Sep;67:S109-14.

Epithelial sodium channel regulatory proteins identified by functional expression cloning.

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Institut de Pharmacologie et de Toxicologie, l'Université, Lausanne, Switzerland.


We describe here our current strategy for identifying and cloning proteins involved in the regulation of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). We have set up a complementation functional assay in the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system. Using this assay, we have been able to identify a channel-activating protease (CAP-1) that can increase ENaC activity threefold. We propose a novel extracellular signal transduction pathway controlling ionic channels of the ENaC gene family that include genes involved in mechanotransduction (degenerins), in peptide-gated channels involved in neurotransmission (FaNaCh), in proton-gated channels involved in pH sensing (ASIC) or pain sensation (DRASIC).

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