We have cloned two members of the CLC chloride channel family (OmCLC-3 and OmCLC-5) from gill cDNA libraries of the euryhaline tilapia Oreochromis mosammbicus. At the amino acid level, OmCLC-3 is 90.5% identical to rat CLC-3 and OmCLC-5 is 79.2% identical to rat CLC-5. Ribonuclease protection assay revealed that OmCLC-5 was mainly expressed in the gill, kidney, and intestine in both freshwater- (FW) and seawater- (SW) adapted tilapia. Although the mRNA of OmCLC-3 was broadly expressed in tissues of FW- and SW-adapted tilapia, the most intense signals were observed in the gill, kidney, intestine, and brain. Injection of OmCLC-3 and OmCLC-5 cRNAs into Xenopus oocytes did not elicit chloride currents, but these clones did functionally complement the gef1 phenotype of YPH250(gef), a yeast strain in which a single CLC channel (GEF1) has been disrupted by homologous recombination. These results clearly indicated that CLC channels closely related to the mammalian CLC-3, -4, and -5 subfamily exist also in tilapia and that OmCLC-3 and OmCLC-5 function as intracellular chloride channels.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.