Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

© 2015 The Physiological Society. The CLC protein family comprises both Cl- channels and H+-coupled anion transporters. The understanding of the critical role of CLC proteins in a number of physiological functions has greatly contributed to a revision of the classical paradigm that attributed to Cl- ions only a marginal role in human physiology. The endosomal ClC-5 and the lysosomal ClC-7 are the best characterized human CLC transporters. Their dysfunction causes Dent's disease and osteopetrosis, respectively. It had been originally proposed that they would provide a Cl- shunt conductance allowing efficient acidification of intracellular compartments. However, this model seems to conflict with the transport properties of these proteins and with recent physiological evidence. Currently, there is no consensus on their specific physiological role. CLC proteins present also a number of peculiar biophysical properties, such as the dimeric architecture, the co-existence of intrinsically different thermodynamic modes of transport based on similar structural principles, and the gating mechanism recently emerging for the transporters, just to name a few. This review focuses on the biophysical properties and physiological roles of ClC-5 and ClC-7. Journal compilation

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Physiology

Publication Date





4139 - 4150