Editors' ChoiceChannels

Serotonin-Gated Cl- Channels

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Science's STKE  28 Nov 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 60, pp. tw8
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.60.tw8

Ranganathan, Cannon, and Horvitz discovered a new type of Cl- channel that is activated by serotonin. MOD-1 was isolated using a genetic screen for a locomotor behavior defect in the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. The MOD-1 gene encodes a protein homologous to chloride channels of the GABA and glycine receptors. When expressed in oocytes or transfected into HEK293 cells, the channel was activated by serotonin and exhibited a reversal potential consistent with Cl- as the charge carrier that varied with external Cl- concentration. The channel was impermeant to cations and did not have a pharmacological profile like that of the serotonin-gated cation channel. The function of MOD-1 was explored in C. elegans. Worms with mutations or lacking the MOD-1 gene exhibited a specific type of increased locomotor activity consistent with serotonin's involvement as an inhibitor of this behavior.

Ranganathan, R., Cannon, S.C., and Horvitz, H.R. (2000) MOD-1 is a serotonin-gated chloride channel that modulates locomotory behaviour in C. elegans. Nature 408: 470-475. [Online Journal]

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