Species differences in Cl- affinity and in electrogenicity of SLC26A6-mediated oxalate/Cl- exchange correlate with the distinct human and mouse susceptibilities to nephrolithiasis

UMMS Affiliation

Molecular and Vascular Medicine Unit and Renal Division; Program in Neuroscience

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The mouse is refractory to lithogenic agents active in rats and humans, and so has been traditionally considered a poor experimental model for nephrolithiasis. However, recent studies have identified slc26a6 as an oxalate nephrolithiasis gene in the mouse. Here we extend our earlier demonstration of different anion selectivities of the orthologous mouse and human SLC26A6 polypeptides to investigate the correlation between species-specific differences in SLC26A6 oxalate/anion exchange properties as expressed in Xenopus oocytes and in reported nephrolithiasis susceptibility. We find that human SLC26A6 mediates minimal rates of Cl(-) exchange for Cl(-), sulphate or formate, but rates of oxalate/Cl(-) exchange roughly equivalent to those of mouse slc2a6. Both transporters exhibit highly cooperative dependence of oxalate efflux rate on extracellular [Cl(-)], but whereas the K(1/2) for extracellular [Cl(-)] is only 8 mM for mouse slc26a6, that for human SLC26A6 is 62 mM. This latter value approximates the reported mean luminal [Cl(-)] of postprandial human jejunal chyme, and reflects contributions from both transmembrane and C-terminal cytoplasmic domains of human SLC26A6. Human SLC26A6 variant V185M exhibits altered [Cl(-)] dependence and reduced rates of oxalate/Cl(-) exchange. Whereas mouse slc26a6 mediates bidirectional electrogenic oxalate/Cl(-) exchange, human SLC26A6-mediated oxalate transport appears to be electroneutral. We hypothesize that the low extracellular Cl(-) affinity and apparent electroneutrality of oxalate efflux characterizing human SLC26A6 may partially explain the high human susceptibility to nephrolithiasis relative to that of mouse. SLC26A6 sequence variant(s) are candidate risk modifiers for nephrolithiasis.

DOI of Published Version



J Physiol. 2008 Mar 1;586(5):1291-306. Epub 2008 Jan 3. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of physiology

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PubMed ID