Chloride channels: a molecular perspective


  • T.J. Jentsch


  • Current Opinion in Neurobiology


  • Curr Opin Neurobiol 6 (3): 303-310


  • Plasma membrane Cl- channels perform a variety of functions, including control of excitability in neurons and muscle, cell volume regulation and transepithelial transport. Structurally, three classes of Cl- channels have been identified: ligand-gated, postsynaptic Cl- channels (e.g. GABA and glycine receptors); the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl- channels (which belong to the traffic ATPase superfamily); and the CLC family of Cl- channels. Recent developments of note include further characterization of the expanding CLC Cl- channel family, advances in understanding the regulation of the CFTR Cl- channel and its emergent role as a regulator of other channels, clarification of issues related to swelling-activated Cl- channels, and the discovery that several co-transporter molecules are now known to induce Cl- currents in Xenopus oocytes.