Encyclopedia of Molecular Pharmacology

Living Edition
| Editors: Stefan Offermanns, Walter Rosenthal

Acid-Sensing Ion Channels

  • Silke Haerteis
  • Stephan KellenbergerEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21573-6_10054-1


Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are non-voltage-gated sodium channels transiently activated by extracellular protons, selective for sodium, and belong to the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC)/degenerin (DEG) family of ion channels. The members of this ion channel superfamily share a similar topology with short intracellular amino and carboxy termini and two membrane-spanning domains connected by a large extracellular domain. The ASIC ion channel group consists of four genes encoding at least six ASIC subunits including 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3, and 4.

Basic Characteristics

Channel family, structural organization and function

Channel Family

The ENaC/DEG superfamily of cation channels encompasses more than 60 members including the ASICs (Wemmie et al. 2006, 2013; Kellenberger and Schild 2015, 2002; Stockand et al. 2008). ASICs have been cloned in the mid-1990s based on sequence homology to ENaC and DEGs. Extracellular acidification opens ASICs only transiently, because of rapid...
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Copyright information

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Molecular and Cellular AnatomyUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland