A new member of acid-sensing ion channels from pituitary gland

Neuroreport. 2000 Jun 5;11(8):1607-11. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200006050-00003.


Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) constitute a branch of the super-gene family of amiloride-sensitive sodium channels. So far five different ASICs have been cloned from mammalian tissues. They are activated by a drop of extracellular pH but differ with respect to effective agonist concentration, desensitization and mRNA expression pattern. Here we report cloning of ASIC4, a new protein showing about 45% identity to other ASICs. ASIC4 is 97% identical between rat and human and shows strongest expression in pituitary gland. Moreover, we detected expression throughout the brain, in spinal cord, and inner ear. ASIC4 cannot be activated by a drop of extracellular pH in Xenopus oocytes, suggesting association with other subunits or activation by a ligand different from protons. Our results suggest a role for ASICs also in endocrine glands.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acid Sensing Ion Channels
  • Amino Acid Sequence / genetics
  • Amino Acid Substitution / genetics
  • Amino Acid Substitution / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Ear, Inner / metabolism
  • Electrophysiology
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sodium Channels / genetics
  • Sodium Channels / metabolism*
  • Sodium Channels / physiology
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Xenopus


  • ASIC3 protein, human
  • ASIC4 protein, human
  • Acid Sensing Ion Channels
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Sodium Channels

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF013598
  • GENBANK/AJ242554
  • GENBANK/AJ271642
  • GENBANK/AJ271643
  • GENBANK/U53211
  • GENBANK/U94403