Various diarrheal diseases, including the disease seen in some individuals with cystic fibrosis, is caused by disrupted transport of ions across the lining of the large intestine (the colon). A team of researchers, led by Criss Hartzell, at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, has identified a new mechanism by which negatively charged ions are secreted into the colon in mice.
Specifically, their data indicate that the protein BEST2 acts as a channel that allows bicarbonate (HCO3-) in the wall of the colon into the cells lining the colon and that it works with a protein that exchanges bicarbonate in the cell for chloride ions (Cl-) in the colon.
These data provide new insight into the mechanisms maintaining a healthy colon and suggest that dysregulated BEST2 function might contribute to the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases.
The research appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
- Kuai Yu, Rafael Lujan, Alan Marmorstein, Sherif Gabriel and H. Criss Hartzell. Bestrophin-2 mediates bicarbonate transport by goblet cells in mouse colon. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2010; DOI: 10.1172/JCI41129
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