Kidney international

A common sequence variation of the CLCNKB gene strongly activates ClC-Kb chloride channel activity.

PMID 14675050


Tubular transepithelial reabsorption of chloride along the nephron is a major determinant of body salt and water homeostasis and blood pressure regulation. About 40% of the glomerulary filtered sodium chloride are reabsorbed in the distal nephrons. Vectorial transepithelial sodium chloride transport is critically dependent on the function of basolateral ClC-K type chloride channels there. Modulation of ClC-Kb chloride channel activity by polymorphic variations of the CLCNKB gene, thus, could form a molecular basis for salt sensitivity of blood pressure regulation. In this study we tested the effect of several polymorphic variants on ClC-Kb chloride channel activity. After heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes, ClC-Kb channel activity and surface expression in presence of the ClC-K beta subunit barttin were determined by two-electrode voltage-clamp analysis, immunofluorescence, and ClC-Kb surface enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Chloride currents induced by the ClC-Kb variants L27R, G214A, I419V, T562M, and E578K were not significantly different from wild-type currents. The ClC-KbT481S variation, however, which showed a frequency of 20% in our control population, dramatically activated chloride conductance by a factor of 20. Activation of chloride currents was also observed after introducing homologous mutations in ClC-Ka and ClC-K1, but not in ClC-2 and ClC-5 chloride channels. ClC-Kb activation by the T481S mutation did not change intrinsic ion channel pore properties and did not require increased surface expression of ClC-KbT481S. Genetic heterogeneity of ClC-Kb chloride channels correlates with functional heterogeneity, which assigns ClC-Kb to a set of genes potentially relevant for polygenic salt-sensitivity of blood pressure regulation.

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