PubMed 14565992

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: ClvC4 , Kv2.1 , Slo1

Title: Alternative splicing of N- and C-termini of a C. elegans ClC channel alters gating and sensitivity to external Cl- and H+.

Authors: Jerod Denton, Keith Nehrke, Eric Rutledge, Rebecca Morrison, Kevin Strange

Journal, date & volume: J. Physiol. (Lond.), 2004 Feb 15 , 555, 97-114

PubMed link:

CLH-3 is a meiotic cell cycle-regulated ClC Cl- channel that is functionally expressed in oocytes of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. CLH-3a and CLH-3b are alternatively spliced variants that have identical intramembrane regions, but which exhibit striking differences in their N- and C-termini. Structural and functional studies indicate that N- and C-terminal domains modulate ClC channel activity. We therefore postulated that alternative splicing of CLH-3 would alter channel gating and physiological functions. To begin testing this hypothesis, we characterized the biophysical properties of CLH-3a and CLH-3b expressed heterologously in HEK293 cells. CLH-3a activates more slowly and requires stronger hyperpolarization for activation than CLH-3b. Depolarizing conditioning voltages dramatically increase CLH-3a current amplitude and induce a slow inactivation process at hyperpolarized voltages, but have no significant effect on CLH-3b activity. CLH-3a also differs significantly in its extracellular Cl- and pH sensitivity compared to CLH-3b. Immunofluorescence microscopy demonstrated that CLH-3b is translationally expressed during all stages of oocyte development, and furthermore, the biophysical properties of the native oocyte Cl- current are indistinguishable from those of heterologously expressed CLH-3b. We conclude that CLH-3b carries the oocyte Cl- current and that the channel probably functions in nonexcitable cells to depolarize membrane potential and/or mediate net Cl- transport. The unique voltage-dependent properties of CLH-3a suggest that the channel may function in muscle cells and neurones to regulate membrane excitability. We suggest that alternative splicing of CLH-3 N- and C-termini modifies the functional properties of the channel by altering the accessibility and/or function of pore-associated ion-binding sites.