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.
Materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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