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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: H. Criss Hartzell, Department of Cell Biology, 615 Michael St., 535 Whitehead Building, Emory, University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, criss.hartzell@emory.edu, Phone: 404-242-5719, Fax: 404-727-6256


Research Funding:

National Institute of General Medical Sciences : NIGMS

National Eye Institute : NEI


  • channelopathies
  • ion transport
  • bestrophin
  • TMEM16
  • anoctamin
  • ClC

Chloride Channels: Often enigmatic, rarely predictable


Journal Title:

Annual Review of Physiology


Volume 72


, Pages 95-121

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Until recently, anion (Cl−) channels have received considerably less attention than cation channels. One reason for this may be that many Cl− channels perform functions that might be considered cell biological, like fluid secretion and cell volume regulation, whereas cation channels have historically been associated with cellular excitability that typically happens more rapidly. In this review, we discuss the recent explosion of interest in Cl− channels with special emphasis on new and often surprising developments over the last 5 years. This is exemplified by the findings that more than half of the ClC family members are antiporters, and not channels as was previously thought, and that bestrophins, previously prime candidates for Ca2+-activated Cl− channels, have been supplanted by the newly discovered anoctamins and now hold a tenuous position in the Cl− channel world.
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