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BACKGROUND: Dent's disease, a renal tubular disorder characterized by low-molecular-weight proteinuria, hypercalciuria, and nephrolithiasis, is due to inactivating mutations in the X-linked renal-specific chloride channel, hCLC-5. The x-ray crystal structures of two bacterial chloride channels (CLCs) have recently been established, thereby allowing us to construct a model for hCLC-5 and further examine the role of its mutations. METHODS: The data regarding 49 hCLC-5 mutations were reviewed. Thirty-four mutations that predicted absent or truncated channels were excluded. The remaining 15 mutations (one in-frame insertion and 14 missense mutations), 12 of which have been studied electrophysiologically, were assessed. The hCLC-5 sequence was aligned with the Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli sequences and used to map the hCLC-5 mutations onto a three-dimensional model. RESULTS: hCLC-5 is a homodimeric protein, with each subunit consisting of 18 helices. None of the missense mutations involved the chloride (Cl-) selectivity filter, but 12 of the 15 mutations were found to be clustered at the interface of the two subunits. Six of these mutations occurred in two of the helices that either form part of the interface or lie in close proximity to the interface, and three other mutations that did not lead to complete loss of Cl- conductance were at the edge of the interface. CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate a crucial role for the interaction between the two subunits at the interface of the homodimeric hCLC-5.

Original publication




Journal article


Kidney Int

Publication Date





1426 - 1432


Amino Acid Sequence, Chloride Channels, Codon, Nonsense, Dimerization, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Missense, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Structure-Activity Relationship