Voltage-gated Ca and Na channels share similar structure: four homologous domains (I-IV), each with six transmembrane segments (S1-S6). They may be formed by two rounds of duplication of a single channel domain similar to voltage-activated potassium channels. However, the channels with the intermediate structure, namely, two-domain channels have not yet been identified. We report here the cloning of a novel protein from rat kidney that contains two domains (I-II), each with S1-S6 segments that are found in voltage-gated Ca and Na channels. Because of unusual structure, the protein was named two-pore channel 1 (TPC1). TPC1 encodes 819 amino acids with two conserved positively charged voltage sensor segments (S4) but the pore segments are not conserved. Northern blot analysis showed that TPC1 mRNA (5 kb) was expressed widely. It was expressed at relatively high level in kidney, liver, and lung. Immunohistochemistry of kidney revealed that TPC1 was expressed at inner medullary collecting ducts. In expression studies, no functional currents could be detected in CHO cells and Xenopus oocytes. Based on its primary structure, we propose that TPC1 might be a predecessor of the conventional four repeat voltage-gated Ca and Na channels and will give insights into the evolution of ion channels.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.