Evidence that the product of the human X-linked CGD gene, gp91-phox, is a voltage-gated H(+) pathway

L M Henderson, R W Meech

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Expression of gp91-phox in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO91) cells is correlated with the presence of a voltage-gated H(+) conductance. As one component of NADPH oxidase in neutrophils, gp91-phox is responsible for catalyzing the production of superoxide (O(2).(2)). Suspensions of CHO91 cells exhibit arachidonate-activatable H(+) fluxes (Henderson, L.M., G. Banting, and J.B. Chappell. 1995. J. Biol. Chem. 270:5909-5916) and we now characterize the electrical properties of the pathway. Voltage-gated currents were recorded from CHO91 cells using the whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique under conditions designed to exclude a contribution from ions other than H(+). As in other voltage-gated proton currents (Byerly, L., R. Meech, and W. Moody. 1984. J. Physiol. 351:199-216; DeCoursey, T.E., and V.V. Cherny. 1993. Biophys. J. 65:1590-1598), a lowered external pH (pH(o)) shifted activation to more positive voltages and caused the tail current reversal potential to shift in the manner predicted by the Nernst equation. The outward currents were also reversibly inhibited by 200 microM zinc. Voltage-gated currents were not present immediately upon perforating the cell membrane, but showed a progressive increase over the first 10-20 min of the recording period. This time course was consistent with a gradual shift in activation to more negative potentials as the pipette solution, pH 6.5, equilibrated with the cell contents (reported by Lucifer yellow included in the patch pipette). Use of the pH-sensitive dye 2'7' bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5(and 6) carboxyfluorescein (BCECF) suggested that the final intracellular pH (pH(i)) was approximately 6.9, as though pH(i) was largely determined by endogenous cellular regulation. Arachidonate (20 microM) increased the amplitude of the currents by shifting activation to more negative voltages and by increasing the maximally available conductance. Changes in external Cl(-) concentration had no effect on either the time scale or the appearance of the currents. Examination of whole cell currents from cells expressing mutated versions of gp91-phox suggest that: (a) voltage as well as arachidonate sensitivity was retained by cells with only the NH(2)-terminal 230 amino acids, (b) histidine residues at positions 111, 115, and 119 on a putative membrane-spanning helical region of the protein contribute to H(+) permeation, (c) histidine residues at positions 111 and 119 may contribute to voltage gating, (d) the histidine residue at position 115 is functionally important for H(+) selectivity. Mechanisms of H(+) permeation through gp91-phox include the possible protonation/deprotonation of His-115 as it is exposed alternatively to the interior and exterior faces of the cell membrane (see Starace, D.M., E. Stefani, and F. Bezanilla. 1997. Neuron. 19:1319-1327) and the transfer of protons across an "H-X-X-X-H-X-X-X-H" motif lining a conducting pore.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-86
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of General Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999


  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • CHO Cells
  • Cricetinae
  • Cytoplasm
  • Electrophysiology
  • Gene Expression
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Histidine
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen
  • Ion Channel Gating
  • Ion Channels
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Mutation
  • NADPH Oxidase
  • Neutrophils
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • X Chromosome
  • Zinc

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