Acid-sensing ion channels have important functions in physiology and pathology, but the molecular composition of acid-activated chloride channels had remained unclear. We now used a genome-wide siRNA screen to molecularly identify the widely expressed acid-sensitive outwardly-rectifying anion channel PAORAC/ASOR. ASOR is formed by TMEM206 proteins which display two transmembrane domains (TMs) and are expressed at the plasma membrane. Ion permeation-changing mutations along the length of TM2 and at the end of TM1 suggest that these segments line ASOR’s pore. While not belonging to a gene family, TMEM206 has orthologs in probably all vertebrates. Currents from evolutionarily distant orthologs share activation by protons, a feature essential for ASOR’s role in acid-induced cell death. TMEM206 defines a novel class of ion channels. Its identification will help to understand its physiological roles and the diverse ways by which anion-selective pores can be formed.
- Thomas J Jentsch
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Reinhard Jahn, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany
© 2019, Ullrich et al.
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