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Calcium-activated chloride channels (CACCs) share common pharmacological properties with Kcnma1-encoded large conductance K(+) channels (BK(Ca) or K(Ca)1.1) and it has been suggested that they may co-exist in a macromolecular complex. As K(Ca)1.1 channels are known to localize to cholesterol and caveolin-rich lipid rafts (caveolae), the present study investigated whether Ca(2+)-sensitive Cl(-) currents in vascular myocytes were affected by the cholesterol depleting agent methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (M-betaCD).Calcium-activated chloride and potassium currents were recorded from single murine portal vein myocytes in whole cell voltage clamp. Western blot was undertaken following sucrose gradient ultracentrifugation using protein lysates from whole portal veins. Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) currents were augmented by 3 mg mL(-1) M-betaCD with a rapid time course (t(0.5) = 1.8 min). M-betaCD had no effect on the bi-modal response to niflumic acid or anthracene-9-carboxylate but completely removed the inhibitory effects of the K(Ca)1.1 blockers, paxilline and tamoxifen, as well as the stimulatory effect of the K(Ca)1.1 activator NS1619. Discontinuous sucrose density gradients followed by western blot analysis revealed that the position of lipid raft markers caveolin and flotillin-2 was altered by 15 min application of 3 mg mL(-1) M-betaCD. The position of K(Ca)1.1 and the newly identified candidate for CACCs, TMEM16A, was also affected by M-betaCD.These data reveal that CACC properties are influenced by lipid raft integrity.

Original publication




Journal article


Cardiovascular research

Publication Date





476 - 484


Division of Basic Medical Sciences, St George's, University of London, London SW17 0RE, UK.


Muscle, Smooth, Vascular, Portal Vein, Membrane Microdomains, Myocytes, Smooth Muscle, Animals, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, beta-Cyclodextrins, Cholesterol, Chloride Channels, Membrane Proteins, Caveolins, Neoplasm Proteins, Blotting, Western, Centrifugation, Density Gradient, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Membrane Potentials, Time Factors, Membrane Transport Modulators, Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channel alpha Subunits