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Swelling-activated ion channels: functional regulation in cell-swelling, proliferation and apoptosis

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Cell volume regulation is one of the most fundamental homeostatic mechanisms and essential for normal cellular function. At the same time, however, many physiological mechanisms are associated with regulatory changes in cell size meaning that the set point for cell volume regulation is under physiological control. Thus, cell volume is under a tight and dynamic control and abnormal cell volume regulation will ultimately lead to severe cellular dysfunction, including alterations in cell proliferation and cell death. This review describes the different swelling-activated ion channels that participate as key players in the maintenance of normal steady-state cell volume, with particular emphasis on the intracellular signalling pathways responsible for their regulation during hypotonic stress, cell proliferation and apoptosis.
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Keywords: apoptosis; cation channels; cell volume regulation; chloride channels; cytoskeleton; proliferation; reactive oxygen species; regulatory volume decrease

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centro de Estudios Moleculares de la Célula and Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile 2: Institute of Molecular Biology and Physiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark

Publication date: 2006-05-01

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