The SLC26 gene family encodes anion transporters with diverse functional attributes: (a) anion exchanger, (b) anion sensor, and (c) anion conductance (likely channel). We have cloned and studied Slc26a9, a paralogue expressed mostly in lung and stomach. Immunohistochemistry shows that Slc26a9 is present at apical and intracellular membranes of lung and stomach epithelia. Using expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes and ion-sensitive microelectrodes, we discovered that Slc26a9 has a novel function not found in any other Slc26 proteins: cation coupling. Intracellular pH and voltage measurements show that Slc26a9 is a nCl−-HCO 3 − exchanger, suggesting roles in gastric HCl secretion or pulmonary HCO 3 − secretion; Na+ electrodes and uptakes reveal that Slc26a9 has a cation dependence. Single-channel measurements indicate that Slc26a9 displays discrete open and closed states. These experiments show that Slc26a9 has three discrete physiological modes: nCl−-HCO 3 − exchanger, Cl− channel, and Na+-anion cotransporter. Thus, the Slc26a9 transporter channel is uniquely suited for dynamic and tissue-specific physiology or regulation in epithelial tissues.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 14, 2009
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