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Title: Ionic channels in epithelial cell membranes
Authors: Van Driessche, Willy ×
Zeiske, W #
Issue Date: Nov-1985
Series Title: Physiological reviews. vol:65 issue:4 pages:833-903
Abstract: This review focused on results obtained with methods that allow studies of ionic channels in situ, namely, patch clamping and current-noise analysis. We reported findings for ionic channels in apical and basolateral plasma membranes of various tight and leaky epithelia from a wide range of animal species and tissues. As for ionic channel "species," we restricted ourselves to the discussion of cation-specific (Na+ or K+), hybrid (Na+ and K+), and Cl- channels. For the K+-specific channels it can be said that their properties in conduction (multisite, single file), selectivity (only "K+-like" cations), and blocking behavior (Ba2+, Cs+, TEA) much resemble those observed for K+ channels in excitable membranes. This seems to include also the Ca2+-activated "maxi" K+ channel. Thus, K+ channels in excitable membranes and K+ channels in epithelia appear to be very closely related in their basic structural principles. This is, however, not at all unexpected, because K+ channels provide the dominant permeability characteristics of nearly all plasma membranes from symmetrical and epithelial cells. An exception is, of course, apical membranes of tight epithelia whose duty is Na+ absorption against large electrochemical gradients in a usually anisosmotic environment. Here, Na+ channels dominate, although a minor fraction of membrane permeability comes from K+ channels, as in frog skin, colon, or distal nephron. Epithelial Na+ channels are different from excitable Na+ channels in that they 1) are far more selective and 2) seem to be chemically rather than electrically gated. Furthermore, their specific blockers belong to very different chemical families, although a guanidinium/amidinium moiety is a common feature (TTX vs. amiloride). [For a more detailed summary of Na+ channel properties see sect. IV H.] Most interesting is the occurrence of relatively nonselective cationic (hybrid) channels in apical membranes of tight epithelia, like larval or adult frog skin. Here, not only the weak selectivity is astonishing but also the fact that these channels react with so-called K+-channel-specific (Ba2+, TEA) as well as with Na+-channel-specific (amiloride, BIG) compounds. Moreover, this cross-reactivity does not seem to be inhibitory but, on the contrary, stimulating. Clearly these channels may become a fascinating object with which to assess whether Na+ and K+ channels are not only structurally but also genetically related and whether they can somehow be converted into each other.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
URI: 
ISSN: 0031-9333
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine - miscellaneous
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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