Chloride channels in the apical membrane of normal and cystic fibrosis airway and intestinal epithelia

Am J Physiol. 1992 Jul;263(1 Pt 1):L1-14. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.1992.263.1.L1.


Cl- channels located in the apical membrane of secretory epithelia play a key role in epithelial fluid and electrolyte transport. Dysfunction of one of these channels, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), causes the genetic disease cystic fibrosis (CF). We review here the properties and regulation of the different types of Cl- channels that have been reported in airway and intestinal epithelia. We begin by describing the properties of the CFTR Cl- channel and then use those properties as a point of reference. We focused particularly on the evidence that localizes specific types of Cl- channel to the apical membrane. With that background, we assess the biological function of various Cl- channels in airway and intestinal epithelia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chloride Channels
  • Chlorides / metabolism
  • Cyclic AMP / physiology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Reference Values


  • Chloride Channels
  • Chlorides
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Calcium