Demonstration that CFTR is a chloride channel by alteration of its anion selectivity

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  12 Jul 1991:
Vol. 253, Issue 5016, pp. 202-205
DOI: 10.1126/science.1712984


Expression of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) generates adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP)-regulated chloride channels, indicating that CFTR is either a chloride channel or a chloride channel regulator. To distinguish between these possibilities, basic amino acids in the putative transmembrane domains were mutated. The sequence of anion selectivity of cAMP-regulated channels in cells containing either endogenous or recombinant CFTR was bromide greater than chloride greater than iodide greater than fluoride. Mutation of the lysines at positions 95 or 335 to acidic amino acids converted the selectivity sequence to iodide greater than bromide greater than chloride greater than fluoride. These data indicate that CFTR is a cAMP-regulated chloride channel and that lysines 95 and 335 determine anion selectivity.