Chlorella virus MT325 encodes water and potassium channels that interact synergistically

Sabrina Gazzarrini, Ming Kang, Svetlana Epimashko, James L. Van Etten, Jack Dainty, Gerhard Thiel, Anna Moroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Fast and selective transport of water through cell membranes is facilitated by water channels. Water channels belonging to the major intrinsic proteins (MIPs) family have been found in all three domains of life, Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. Here we show that Chlorella virus MT325 has a water channel gene, aqpv1, that forms a functional aquaglyceroporin in oocytes. aqpv1 is transcribed during infection together with MT325 kcv, a gene encoding a previously undescribed type of viral potassium channel. Coexpression of AQPV1 and MT325-Kcv in Xenopus oocytes synergistically increases water transport, suggesting a possible concerted action of the two channels in the infection cycle. The two channels operate by a thermodynamically coupled mechanism that simultaneously alters water conductance and driving force for water movement. Considering the universal role of osmosis, this mechanism is relevant to any cell coexpressing water and potassium channels and could have pathological as well as basic physiological relevance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5355-5360
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 4 2006


  • Aquaglyceroporins
  • Membrane potential
  • Osmoregulation
  • Viroporin
  • Water transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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