PMID: 9920923Jan 28, 1999

Regulation of connexin channels by pH. Direct action of the protonated form of taurine and other aminosulfonates

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
C G Bevans, Andrew L Harris


Protonated aminosulfonate compounds directly inhibit connexin channel activity. This was demonstrated by pH-dependent connexin channel activity in Good's pH buffers (MES (4-morpholineethanesulfonic acid)), HEPES, and TAPS (3-({[2-hydroxy-1, 1-bis(hydroxymethyl)ethyl]amino]-1-propanesulfonic acid)) that have an aminosulfonate moiety in common and by the absence of pH-dependent channel activity in pH buffers without an aminosulfonate moiety (maleate, Tris, and bicarbonate). The pH-activity relation was shifted according to the pKa of each aminosulfonate pH buffer. At constant pH, increased aminosulfonate concentration inhibited channel activity. Taurine, a ubiquitous cytoplasmic aminosulfonic acid, had the same effect at physiological concentrations. These data raise the possibility that effects on connexin channel activity previously attributed to protonation of connexin may be mediated instead by protonation of cytoplasmic regulators, such as taurine. Modulation by aminosulfonates is specific for heteromeric connexin channels containing connexin-26; it does not occur significantly for homomeric connexin-32 channels. The identification of taurine as a cytoplasmic compound that directly interacts with and modulates connexin chann...Continue Reading


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