Degenerin/ENaC channels

Authored by: D. Stockand James

Handbook of Ion Channels

Print publication date:  February  2015
Online publication date:  February  2015

Print ISBN: 9781466551404
eBook ISBN: 9781466551428
Adobe ISBN:


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Degenerins (Deg) of Caenorhabditis elegans are the founding members of the Deg/ENaC ion channel family with the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) being the first mammalian homolog cloned (Bianchi and Driscoll, 2002; Cottrell, 1997; Garty and Palmer, 1997; Kellenberger and Schild, 2002; Lingueglia, 2007). As shown in the dendrogram in Figure 26.1, in mammals, this ion channel family includes acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs); the brain, liver, and intestine Na+ channel (BLINaC); and ENaC. The FMRFamide-gated Na+ channel (FaNaC) and pickpockets (Ppks) along with Deg channels are found in invertebrates. Homologs in lamprey (lASIC; Coric et al., 2005) and lungfish (nENaC; Uchiyama et al., 2012) represent important transitional precursors of mammalian ASIC and ENaC, respectively. The HyNaCs expressed in the primitive animal hydra are representative of ancestral Deg/ENaC channels that existed prior to the radiation of bilateria early in evolution (Durrnagel et al., 2010; Golubovic et al., 2007). As listed in Table 26.1, humans express nine genes that encode Deg/ENaC proteins: four encoding the ?, ?, ?, and ? NaC subunits, four encoding ASIC1–4 subunits, and one encoding the related BLINaC protein, which sometimes is referred to as ASIC5.

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