Polycystin-L is a calcium-regulated cation channel permeable to calcium ions

Academic Article


  • Polycystic kidney diseases are genetic disorders in which the renal parenchyma is progressively replaced by fluid-filled cysts. Two members of the polycystin family (polycystin-1 and -2) are mutated in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), and polycystin-L is deleted in mice with renal and retinal defects. Polycystins are membrane proteins that share significant sequence homology, especially polycystin-2 and -L (50% identity and 71% similarity). The functions of the polycystins remain unknown. Here we show that polycystin-L is a calcium-modulated nonselective cation channel that is permeable to sodium, potassium and calcium ions. Patch-clamp experiments revealed single-channel activity with a unitary conductance of 137 pS. Channel activity was substantially increased when either the extracellular or intracellular calcium-ion concentration was raised, indicating that polycystin-L may act as a transducer of calcium-mediated signalling in vivo. Its large single-channel conductance and regulation by calcium ions distinguish it from other structurally related cation channels.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Nature  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chen XZ; Vassilev PM; Basora N; Peng JB; Nomura H; Segal Y; Brown EM; Reeders ST; Hediger MA; Zhou J
  • Start Page

  • 383
  • End Page

  • 386
  • Volume

  • 401
  • Issue

  • 6751