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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The flavonol quercetin activates basolateral K(+) channels in rat distal colon epithelium.

1. The flavonol quercetin has been shown to activate a Cl(-) secretion in rat colon. Unlike the secretory activity of the related isoflavone genistein, quercetin's secretory activity does not depend on cyclic AMP; instead, it depends on Ca(2+). We investigated the possible involvement of Ca(2+) dependent basolateral K(+) channels using apically permeabilized rat distal colon epithelium mounted in Ussing chambers. 2. In intact epithelium, quercetin induced an increase in short-circuit current (I(sc)), which was diminished by the Cl(-) channel blockers NPPB and DPC, but not by glibenclamide, DIDS or anthracene-9-carboxylic acid. The effect of the flavonol was also inhibited by several serosally applied K(+) channel blockers (Ba(2+), quinine, clotrimazole, tetrapentylammonium, 293B), whereas other K(+) channel blockers failed to influence the quercetin-induced increase in I(sc) (tetraethylammonium, charybdotoxin). 3. The apical membrane was permeabilized by mucosal addition of nystatin and a serosally directed K(+) gradient was applied. The successful permeabilization was confirmed by experiments demonstrating the failure of bumetanide to inhibit the carbachol-induced current. 4. In apically permeabilized epithelium, quercetin induced a K(+) current (I(K)), which was neither influenced by ouabain nor by bumetanide. Whereas DPC, NPPB, charybdotoxin and 293B failed to inhibit this I(K), quinine, Ba(2+), clotrimazole and tetrapentylammonium were effective blockers of this current. 5. We conclude from these results that at least part of the quercetin-induced Cl(-) secretion can be explained by an activation of basolateral K(+) channels.[1]


  1. The flavonol quercetin activates basolateral K(+) channels in rat distal colon epithelium. Cermak, R., Kuhn, G., Wolffram, S. Br. J. Pharmacol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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