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Membrane insertion of soluble CLIC1 into active chloride channels is triggered by specific divalent cations

Varela, Lorena, Hendry, Alex C., Medina-Carmona, Encarnacion, Cantoni, Diego, Ortega-Roldan, Jose L. (2019) Membrane insertion of soluble CLIC1 into active chloride channels is triggered by specific divalent cations. bioRxiv, . Article Number 638080. (doi:10.1101/638080) (KAR id:84591)

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The CLIC family of proteins display the unique feature of altering their structure from a soluble form to a membrane-bound chloride channel. CLIC1, a member of this family, can be found in the cytoplasm or in nuclear, ER and plasma membranes, with membrane overexpression linked to tumour proliferation. The molecular switch promoting CLIC1 membrane insertion has been related to environmental factors, but still remains unclear. Here, we use solution NMR studies to confirm that both the soluble and membrane bound forms are in the same oxidation state. Our data from fluorescence assays and chloride efflux assays indicate that Ca2+ and Zn2+ trigger association to the membrane into active chloride channels. We use fluorescence microscopy to confirm that an increase of the intracellular Ca2+ leads to re-localisation of CLIC1 to both plasma and internal membranes. Finally, we show that soluble CLIC1 adopts an equilibrium of oligomeric species, and Ca2+/Zn2+ mediated membrane insertion promotes the formation of a tetrameric assembly. Thus, our results identify Ca2+ and Zn2+ binding as the molecular switch promoting CLIC1 membrane insertion.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT CLIC1, a member of the CLIC family of proteins, is expressed as a soluble protein in cells but can insert in the membrane forming a chloride channel. This chloride channel form is upregulated in different types of cancers including glioblastoma and promote tumour invasiveness and metastasis. The factors promoting CLIC1 membrane insertion nor the mechanism of this process are yet understood. Here, we use a combination of solution NMR, biophysics and fluorescence microscopy to identify Ca2+ and Zn2+ binding as the switch to promote CLIC1 insertion into the membrane to form active chloride channels. We also provide a simple mechanism how such transition to the membrane occurs. Such understanding will enable subsequent studies on the structure of the chloride channel form and its inhibition.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1101/638080
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems) > QP506 Molecular biology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Biosciences
Depositing User: Jose Ortega Roldan
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2020 22:46 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 15:59 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Ortega-Roldan, Jose L.:
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