Anions permeate and gate GCAC1, a voltage-dependent guard cell anion channel

Authors

  • Petra Dietrich,

    1. Lehrstuhl für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie und Biophysik, Julius-von-Sachs Institut für Biowissenschaften, Universität Würzburg, Julius-von-Sachs-Platz 2, 97082 Würzburg, Germany
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  • Rainer Hedrich

    1. Lehrstuhl für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie und Biophysik, Julius-von-Sachs Institut für Biowissenschaften, Universität Würzburg, Julius-von-Sachs-Platz 2, 97082 Würzburg, Germany
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*For correspondence (fax: +49 9318886157;
e-mail Dietrich@botanik.uni-wuerzburg.de).

Summary

GCAC1 is a strongly voltage-dependent anion channel in the guard-cell plasma membrane ofVicia faba. In patch–clamp experiments, we have investigated the permeation and gating properties of GCAC1 with respect to its anion dependence in the whole-cell and excised-patch configuration. The relative permeability followed the order SCN > NO3 > Br > Cl, while the single-channel conductances in symmetrical anionic solutions exhibited a nearly inverse sequence. The Cl dependence of inward currents (Cl release) is characterized by a maximum single-channel conductance of 89 pS half-saturating at 87 mM cytoplasmic chloride. In addition to this substrate saturation, anion release was also dependent on the external Cl activity (Km = 16 mM). In the presence of SCN and Cl, the single-channel conductance exhibited an anomalous mole-fraction dependence, identifying GCAC1 as a multi-ion single-file pore. Using anions with increasing ionic size, a minimum pore diameter of 0.5 nm was assumed from their relative permeabilities. In line with an anion-selective channel, a tenfold increase in the extracellular anion activity shifted the reversal potential by –59.8 mV. Simultaneously, the half-activation potential shifted negatively by about 23 mV. A further analysis of the anion dependence revealed that extracellular rather than cytosolic anions affect the gating process of GCAC1. From anion substitution experiments, we conclude that anion concentration and species determines both permeation and gating of the plant anion channel GCAC1.

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