MACHINERY required for the maintenance of a constant cell volume in the face of osmotic perturbations undoubtedly arose early in evolution. When it was advantageous for primitive replicating molecules to surround themselves with a membrane and to control the composition of their immediate environment, it became necessary to regulate âcellâ volume. Over the past two decades physiologists have gained an impressive understanding of the membrane transport pathways, metabolic processes, and gene transcription and translation events that are used by cells for volume regulatory solute loss and gain. The purpose of this article is to review our present understanding of one piece of this story, namely, volumesensitive anion channels. Studies from a number of laboratories have demonstrated the existence in vertebrate cells of several anion channels that are activated by increases in cell volume. We discuss the electrophysiological, molecular biological, and regulatory characteristics of these channels and their possible roles in cell volume homeostasis. 0363-6143/96 $5.00 Copyright o 1996 CELL VOLUME REGULATION: THE BASICS The fundamentals of cell volume regulation have been described extensively elsewhere (26, 31, 45, 53, 61, 104, 121, 143), and only a very brief review is presented here to set the stage. Water is effectively
AJP - Cell Physiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Mar 1, 1996
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