Polycystin-2, the protein mutated in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), is a Ca2+-permeable nonselective cation channel

Silvia González-Perrett, Keetae Kim, Cristina Ibarra, Alicia E. Damiano, Elsa Zotta, Marisa Batelli, Peter C. Harris, Ignacio L. Reisin, M. Amin Arnaout, Horacio F. Cantiello

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371 Scopus citations


Defects in polycystin-2, a ubiquitous transmembrane glycoprotein of unknown function, is a major cause of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), whose manifestation entails the development of fluid-filled cysts in target organs. Here, we demonstrate that polycystin-2 is present in term human syncytiotrophoblast, where it behaves as a nonselective cation channel. Lipid bilayer reconstitution of polycystin-2-positive human syncytiotrophoblast apical membranes displayed a nonselective cation channel with multiple subconductance states, and a high permselectivity to Ca2+. This channel was inhibited by anti-polycystin-2 antibody, Ca2+,La3+, Gd3+, and the diuretic amiloride. Channel function by polycystin-2 was confirmed by patch-clamping experiments of polycystin-2 heterologously infected Sf9 insect cells. Further, purified insect cell-derived recombinant polycystin-2 and in vitro translated human polycystin-2 had similar ion channel activity. The polycystin-2 channel may be associated with fluid accumulation and/or ion transport regulation in target epithelia, including placenta. Dysregulation of this channel provides a mechanism for the onset and progression of ADPKD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1187
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 30 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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