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Biochemical and biophysical approaches to study the structure and function of the chloride channel (ClC) family of proteins.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Abeyrathne Priyanka D, Chami Mohamed, Stahlberg Henning,
Project Electron Microscopy of Membrane Proteins
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Biochimie
Volume (Issue) 128-129
Page(s) 154 - 62
Title of proceedings Biochimie
DOI 10.1016/j.biochi.2016.08.008


The chloride channel (ClC) protein family comprises both chloride (Cl(-)) channels and chloride/proton (Cl(-)/H(+)) antiporters. In prokaryotes and eukaryotes, these proteins mediate the movement of Cl(-) ions across the membrane. In eukaryotes, ClC proteins play a role in the stabilization of membrane potential, epithelial ion transport, hippocampal neuroprotection, cardiac pacemaker activity and vesicular acidification. Moreover, mutations in the genes encoding ClC proteins can cause genetic disease in humans. In prokaryotes, the Cl(-)/H(+) antiporters, such as ClC-ec1 found in Escherichia coli promote proton expulsion in the extreme acid-resistance response common to enteric bacteria. To date, structural and functional studies of the prokaryotic protein have revealed unique structural features, including complicated transmembrane topology with 18 α-helices in each subunit and an anion-coordinating region in each subunit. Several different approaches such as X-ray crystallography, NMR, biochemical studies, and molecular dynamics simulations have been applied to the study of ClC proteins. Continued study of the unique structure and function of this diverse family of proteins has the potential to lead to the development of novel therapeutic targets for neuronal, renal, bone, and food-borne diseases.