Cloning of an avermectin-sensitive glutamate-gated chloride channel from Caenorhabditis elegans

Nature. 1994 Oct 20;371(6499):707-11. doi: 10.1038/371707a0.


The avermectins are a family of macrocyclic lactones used in the control of nematode and arthropod parasites. Ivermectin (22,23-dihydroavermectin B1a) is widely used as an anthelmintic in veterinary medicine and is used to treat onchocerciasis or river blindness in humans. Abamectin (avermectin B1a) is a miticide and insecticide used in crop protection. Avermectins interact with vertebrate and invertebrate GABA receptors and invertebrate glutamate-gated chloride channels. The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has served as a useful model to study the mechanism of action of avermectins. A C. elegans messenger RNA expressed in Xenopus oocytes encodes an avermectin-sensitive glutamate-gated chloride channel. To elucidate the structure and properties of this channel, we used Xenopus oocytes for expression cloning of two functional complementary DNAs encoding an avermectin-sensitive glutamate-gated chloride channel. We find that the electrophysiological and structural properties of these proteins indicate that they are new members of the ligand-gated ion channel superfamily.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chloride Channels / drug effects
  • Chloride Channels / genetics*
  • Chloride Channels / physiology
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Electrophysiology
  • Escherichia coli
  • Glutamic Acid / physiology
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating*
  • Ivermectin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ivermectin / pharmacology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oocytes
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Xenopus


  • Chloride Channels
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Ivermectin
  • avermectin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U14524
  • GENBANK/U14525