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

Structure and function of CLCA proteins.

CLCA proteins were discovered in bovine trachea and named for a calcium-dependent chloride conductance found in trachea and in other secretory epithelial tissues. At least four closely located gene loci in the mouse and the human code for independent isoforms of CLCA proteins. Full-length CLCA proteins have an unprocessed mass ratio of approximately 100 kDa. Three of the four human loci code for the synthesis of membrane-associated proteins. CLCA proteins affect chloride conductance, epithelial secretion, cell-cell adhesion, apoptosis, cell cycle control, mucus production in asthma, and blood pressure. There is a structural and probable functional divergence between CLCA isoforms containing or not containing beta4-integrin binding domains. Cell cycle control and tumor metastasis are affected by isoforms with the binding domains. These isoforms are expressed prominently in smooth muscle, in some endothelial cells, in the central nervous system, and also in secretory epithelial cells. The isoform with disrupted beta4-integrin binding (hCLCA1, pCLCA1, mCLCA3) alters epithelial mucus secretion and ion transport processes. It is preferentially expressed in secretory epithelial tissues including trachea and small intestine. Chloride conductance is affected by the expression of several CLCA proteins. However, the dependence of the resulting electrical signature on the expression system rather than the CLCA protein suggests that these proteins are not independent Ca2+-dependent chloride channels, but may contribute to the activity of chloride channels formed by, or in conjunction with, other proteins.[1]


  1. Structure and function of CLCA proteins. Loewen, M.E., Forsyth, G.W. Physiol. Rev. (2005) [Pubmed]
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