Diverse transport modes by the solute carrier 26 family of anion transporters


  • This report was presented at The Journal of Physiology Symposium on Chloride channels: insight into function from human disease, which took place at the Joint Meeting of the Chinese Association for Physiological Sciences, The Physiological Society and the American, Australian and Canadian Physiological Societies at Beijing 2008, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China, 18 October 2008. It was commissioned by the Editorial Board and reflects the views of the authors.

S. Muallem: Department of Physiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, TX 75390-9040, USA. Email: shmuel.muallem@utsouthwestern.edu


The solute carrier 26 (SLC26) transporters are anion transporters with diverse substrate specificity. Several members are ubiquitous while others show limited tissue distribution. They are expressed in many epithelia and to the extent known, play a central role in anion secretion and absorption. Members of the family are primarily Cl transporters, although some members transport mainly SO42−, Cl, HCO3 or  I. A defining feature of the family is their functional diversity. Slc26a1 and Slc26a2 function as specific SO42− transporters while Slc26a4 functions as an electroneutral Cl/I/HCO3 exchanger. Slc26a3 and Slc26a6 function as coupled electrogenic Cl/HCO3 exchangers or as bona fide anion channels. SLC26A7 and SLC26A9 function exclusively as Cl channels. This short review discusses the functional diversity of the SLC26 transporters.