ION channels selectively permeable to chloride ions regulate cell functions as diverse as excitability and control of cell volume1-5. Using expression cloning techniques, a complementary DNA from an epithelial cell line has been isolated, sequenced and its putative structure examined by site-directed mutagenesis. This cDNA, encoding a 235-amino-acid protein, gave rise to a chloride-selective outward current when expressed in oocytes. The expressed, outwardly rectifying chloride current was calcium-insensitive and was blocked by nucleotides applied to the cell surface. Mutation of a putative nucleotide-binding site resulted in loss of nucleotide block but incurred dependence on extracellular calcium concentration. The unusual sequence of this putative channel protein suggests a new class of ion channels not related to other previously cloned chloride channels6-11.
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