ANOs 3–7 in the anoctamin/Tmem16 Cl channel family are intracellular proteins

Charity Duran, Zhiqiang Qu, Adeboye O. Osunkoya, Yuanyuan Cui, H. Criss Hartzell


Ca2+-activated Cl channels (CaCCs) participate in numerous physiological functions such as neuronal excitability, sensory transduction, and transepithelial fluid transport. Recently, it was shown that heterologously expressed anoctamins ANO1 and ANO2 generate currents that resemble native CaCCs. The anoctamin family (also called Tmem16) consists of 10 members, but it is not known whether all members of the family are CaCCs. Expression of ANOs 3–7 in HEK293 cells did not generate Cl currents activated by intracellular Ca2+, as determined by whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology. With the use of confocal imaging, only ANO1 and ANO2 traffic to the plasma membrane when expressed heterologously. Furthermore, endogenously expressed ANO7 in the human prostate is predominantly intracellular. We took a chimeric approach to identify regions critical for channel trafficking and function. However, none of the chimeras of ANO1 and ANO5/7 that we made trafficked to the plasma membrane. Our results suggest that intracellular anoctamins may be endoplasmic reticulum proteins, although it remains unknown whether these family members are CaCCs. Determining the role of anoctamin family members in ion transport will be critical to understanding their functions in physiology and disease.

  • anion transport
  • chloride channels
  • calcium-activated chloride channels
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