The chloride channel ClC-2has been implicated in essential physiological functions, including cell-volume regulation and fluid secretion by specific epithelial tissues. Although ClC-2 is known to be activated by hyperpolarization and hypo-osmotic shock, the molecular basis for the regulation of this channel remains unclear. Here we show in the Xenopus oocyte expression system that the chloride-channel activity of ClC-2 is enhanced after treatment with the actin-disrupting agents cytochalasin and latrunkulin. These findings suggest that the actin cytoskeleton normally exerts an inhibitory effect on ClC-2 activity. An inhibitory domain was previously defined in the N-terminus of ClC-2, so we sought to determine whether this domain might interact directly with actin in binding assays in vitro. We found that a glutathione S-transferase fusion protein containing the inhibitory domain was capable of binding actin in overlay and co-sedimentation assays. Further, the binding of actin to this relatively basic peptide (pI 8.4) might be mediated through electrostatic interactions because binding was inhibited at high concentrations of NaCl with a half-maximal decrease in signal at 180mM NaCl. This work suggests that electrostatic interactions between the N-terminus of ClC-2 and the actin cytoskeleton might have a role in the regulation of this channel.

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