Asymmetric Divergence in Structure and Function of HCN Channel Duplicates in Ciona intestinalis

Heather A. Jackson, Andrew Hegle, Hamed Nazzari, Timothy Jegla, Eric A. Accili

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4 Scopus citations


Hyperpolarization-activated Cyclic Nucleotide (HCN) channels are voltage-gated cation channels and are critical for regulation of membrane potential in electrically active cells. To understand the evolution of these channels at the molecular level, we cloned and examined two of three HCN homologs of the urochordate Ciona intestinalis (ciHCNa and ciHCNb). ciHCNa is like mammalian HCNs in that it possesses similar electrical function and undergoes N-glycosylation of a sequon near the pore. ciHCNb lacks the pore-associated N-glycosylation sequon and is predictably not N-glycosylated, and it also has an unusual gating phenotype in which the channel's voltage-sensitive gate appears to close incompletely. Together with previous findings, the data support an evolutionary trajectory in which an HCN ancestor underwent lineage-specific duplication in Ciona, to yield one HCN with most features that are conserved with the mammalian HCNs and another HCN that has been uniquely altered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere47590
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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