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Nature 2005 Jul 21;4367049:424-7. doi: 10.1038/nature03860.
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Voltage-dependent electrogenic chloride/proton exchange by endosomal CLC proteins.

Scheel O , Zdebik AA , Lourdel S , Jentsch TJ .

Eukaryotic members of the CLC gene family function as plasma membrane chloride channels, or may provide neutralizing anion currents for V-type H(+)-ATPases that acidify compartments of the endosomal/lysosomal pathway. Loss-of-function mutations in the endosomal protein ClC-5 impair renal endocytosis and lead to kidney stones, whereas loss of function of the endosomal/lysosomal protein ClC-7 entails osteopetrosis and lysosomal storage disease. Vesicular CLCs have been thought to be Cl- channels, in particular because ClC-4 and ClC-5 mediate plasma membrane Cl- currents upon heterologous expression. Here we show that these two mainly endosomal CLC proteins instead function as electrogenic Cl-/H+ exchangers (also called antiporters), resembling the transport activity of the bacterial protein ClC-e1, the crystal structure of which has already been determined. Neutralization of a critical glutamate residue not only abolished the steep voltage-dependence of transport, but also eliminated the coupling of anion flux to proton counter-transport. ClC-4 and ClC-5 may still compensate the charge accumulation by endosomal proton pumps, but are expected to couple directly vesicular pH gradients to Cl- gradients.

PubMed ID: 16034422
Article link: Nature

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: clcn5