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Rangel-Yescas,G; Cervantes,C; Cervantes-Rocha,MA; Suárez-Delgado,E; Banaszak,AT; Maldonado,E; Ramsey,IS; Rosenbaum,T; Islas,LD (2021)

DISCOVERY AND CHARACTERIZATION OF HV1-TYPE PROTON CHANNELS IN REEF-BUILDING CORALS.

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Voltage-dependent proton-permeable channels are membrane proteins mediating a number of important physiological functions. Here we report the presence of a gene encoding Hv1 voltage-dependent, proton-permeable channels in two species of reef-building corals. We performed a characterization of their biophysical properties and found that these channels are fast-activating and modulated by the pH gradient in a distinct manner. The biophysical properties of these novel channels make them interesting model systems. We have also developed an allosteric gating model that provides mechanistic insight into the modulation of voltage-dependence by protons. This work also represents the first functional characterization of any ion channel in scleractinian corals. We discuss the implications of the presence of these channels in the membranes of coral cells in the calcification and pH-regulation processes and possible consequences of ocean acidification related to the function of these channels.