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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 18, 2011

Role of the Ca2+-activated Cl- channels bestrophin and anoctamin in epithelial cells

  • Karl Kunzelmann EMAIL logo , Patthara Kongsuphol , Krongkarn Chootip , Caio Toledo , Joana R. Martins , Joana Almaca , Yuemin Tian , Ralph Witzgall , Jiraporn Ousingsawat and Rainer Schreiber
From the journal Biological Chemistry


Two families of proteins, the bestrophins (Best) and the recently cloned TMEM16 proteins (anoctamin, Ano), recapitulate properties of Ca2+-activated Cl- currents. Best1 is strongly expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium and could have a function as a Ca2+-activated Cl- channel as well as a regulator of Ca2+ signaling. It is also present at much lower levels in other cell types including epithelial cells, where it regulates plasma membrane localized Cl- channels by controlling intracellular Ca2+ levels. Best1 interacts with important Ca2+-signaling proteins such as STIM1 and can interact directly with other Ca2+-activated Cl- channels such as TMEM16A. Best1 is detected in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where it shapes the dynamic ER structure and regulates cell proliferation, which could be important for renal cystogenesis. Ca2+-activated Cl- channels of the anoctamin family (TMEM16A) show biophysical and pharmacological properties that are typical for endogenous Ca2+-dependent Cl- channels. TMEM16 proteins are abundantly expressed and many reports demonstrate their physiological importance in epithelial as well as non-epithelial cells. These channels are also activated by cell swelling and can therefore control cell volume, proliferation and apoptosis. To fully understand the function and regulation of Ca2+-activated Cl- currents, it is necessary to appreciate that Best1 and TMEM16A are embedded in a protein network and that they probably operate in functional microdomains.

Corresponding author

Received: 2010-8-16
Accepted: 2010-10-11
Published Online: 2011-06-18
Published in Print: 2011-02-01

©2011 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York

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