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

Acid-sensing ion channel 2 (ASIC2) modulates ASIC1 H+-activated currents in hippocampal neurons.

Hippocampal neurons express subunits of the acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC1 and ASIC2) and exhibit large cation currents that are transiently activated by acidic extracellular solutions. Earlier work indicated that ASIC1 contributed to the current in these neurons and suggested its importance for normal behavior. However, the specific contribution of ASIC1 and ASIC2 subunits to acid-evoked currents in hippocampal neurons remained uncertain. To decipher the individual role of the ASIC subunits, we studied H(+)-gated currents in neurons from both ASIC1 and ASIC2 null mice. We found that much of the current was produced by ASIC1a/2a heteromultimeric channels, and individual subunits made distinct contributions. The ASIC1a subunit was key in establishing current amplitude. The ASIC2a subunit had little effect on amplitude but influenced desensitization, recovery from desensitization, pH sensitivity, and the response to modulatory agents. We also found heterogeneity in the contribution of ASIC2 throughout the neuronal population, with individual neurons expressing both ASIC1a homomultimeric and ASIC1a/2a heteromultimeric channels. Studies of neurons heterozygous for disrupted ASIC alleles indicated that the properties of H(+)-gated currents are dependent on the proportion of the individual subunits. These findings indicate that the absolute and relative amounts of ASIC subunits determine the amplitude and properties of hippocampal H(+)-gated currents and therefore may contribute to normal physiology and pathophysiology.[1]


  1. Acid-sensing ion channel 2 (ASIC2) modulates ASIC1 H+-activated currents in hippocampal neurons. Askwith, C.C., Wemmie, J.A., Price, M.P., Rokhlina, T., Welsh, M.J. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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