Intracellular Cl-as a signaling ion that potently regulates Na+/Hco3 - Transporters

Nikolay Shcheynikov, Aran Son, Jeong Hee Hong, Osamu Yamazaki, Ehud Ohana, Ira Kurtz, Dong Min Shin, Shmuel Muallem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Cl- is a major anion in mammalian cells involved in transport processes that determines the intracellular activity of many ions and plasma membrane potential. Surprisingly, a role of intracellular Cl- (Cl-in) as a signaling ion has not been previously evaluated. Here we report that Cl-in functions as a regulator of cellular Na+ and HCO3- concentrations and transepithelial transport through modulating the activity of several electrogenic Na+-HCO3- transporters. We describe the molecular mechanism(s) of this regulation by physiological Cl-in concentrations highlighting the role of GXXXP motifs in Cl- sensing. Regulation of the ubiquitous Na+-HCO3- cotransport (NBC)e1-B is mediated by two GXXXP-containing sites; regulation of NBCe2-C is dependent on a single GXXXP motif; and regulation of NBCe1-A depends on a cryptic GXXXP motif. In the basal state NBCe1-B is inhibited by high Cl-in interacting at a low affinity GXXXP-containing site. IP3 receptor binding protein released with IP3 (IRBIT) activation of NBCe1-B unmasks a second high affinity Cl-in interacting GXXXP-dependent site. By contrast, NBCe2-C, which does not interact with IRBIT, has a single high affinity N-terminal GXXP-containing Cl-in interacting site. NBCe1-A is unaffected by Cl-in between 5 and 140 mM. However, deletion of NBCe1-A residues 29- 41 unmasks a cryptic GXXXP-containing site homologous with the NBCe1-B low affinity site that is involved in inhibition of NBCe1-A by Cl-in. These findings reveal a cellular Cl-in sensing mechanism that plays an important role in the regulation of Na+ and HCO3- transport, with critical implications for the role of Cl- in cellular ion homeostasis and epithelial fluid and electrolyte secretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E329-E337
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2015


  • Intracellular cl
  • Signaling ion
  • Transporters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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