Cation-chloride cotransporters and neuronal function

Neuron. 2009 Mar 26;61(6):820-38. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.03.003.


Recent years have witnessed a steep increase in studies on the diverse roles of neuronal cation-chloride cotransporters (CCCs). The versatility of CCC gene transcription, posttranslational modification, and trafficking are on par with what is known about ion channels. The cell-specific and subcellular expression patterns of different CCC isoforms have a key role in modifying a neuron's electrophysiological phenotype during development, synaptic plasticity, and disease. While having a major role in controlling responses mediated by GABA(A) and glycine receptors, CCCs also show close interactions with glutamatergic signaling. A cross-talk among CCCs and trophic factors is important in short-term and long-term modification of neuronal properties. CCCs appear to be multifunctional proteins that are also involved in shaping neuronal structure at various stages of development, from stem cells to synaptogenesis. The rapidly expanding work on CCCs promotes our understanding of fundamental mechanisms that control brain development and functions under normal and pathophysiological conditions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cations / metabolism
  • Chlorides / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics
  • Nervous System Diseases / metabolism
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Symporters / classification
  • Symporters / genetics
  • Symporters / metabolism*
  • Synapses / physiology


  • Cations
  • Chlorides
  • Symporters