Common gating of both CLC subunits underlies voltage-dependent activation of the 2Cl(-)/1H(+) exchanger ClC-7/Ostm1


  • C.F. Ludwig
  • F. Ullrich
  • L. Leisle
  • T. Stauber
  • T.J. Jentsch


  • Journal of Biological Chemistry


  • J Biol Chem 288 (40): 28611-28619


  • CLC anion transporters form dimers that function either as Cl(-) channels or as electrogenic Cl(-)/H(+)-exchangers. CLC channels display two different types of 'gates', 'protopore' gates that open and close the two pores of a CLC dimer independently of each other, and common gates that act on both pores simultaneously. ClC-7/Ostm1 is a lysosomal 2Cl(-)/1H(+)-exchanger that is slowly activated by depolarization. This gating process is drastically accelerated by many CLCN7 mutations underlying human osteopetrosis. Making use of some of these mutants, we now investigate whether slow voltage-activation of plasma membrane-targeted ClC-7/Ostm1 involves protopore or common gates. Voltage-activation of wild-type ClC-7 subunits was accelerated by co-expressing an excess of ClC-7 subunits carrying an accelerating mutation together with a point mutation rendering these subunits transport-deficient. Conversely, voltage-activation of a fast ClC-7 mutant could be slowed by co-expressing an excess of a transport-deficient mutant. These effects did not depend on whether the accelerating mutation localized to the transmembrane part or to cytoplasmic CBS domains of ClC-7. Combining accelerating mutations in the same subunit did not speed up gating further. No currents were observed when ClC-7 was truncated after the last intramembrane helix. Currents and slow gating were restored when the carboxy-terminus was co-expressed by itself or fused to the C-terminus of the {beta}-subunit Ostm1. We conclude that common gating underlies the slow voltage-activation of ClC-7. It depends on the CBS domain-containing carboxy-terminus that does not require covalent binding to the membrane domain of ClC-7.