Cloning and functional expression of ASIC-beta2, a splice variant of ASIC-beta.
We have isolated a cDNA encoding a splice variant of ASIC (acid-sensing ion channel)-beta from the rat trigeminal ganglion. This clone, designated ASIC-beta2, showed a 342 base deletion just after the first transmembrane domain in ASIC-beta. RT-PCR experiments revealed that ASIC-beta2 was expressed exclusively in the trigeminal ganglion and dorsal root ganglion. In situ hybridization showed that ASIC-beta2 mRNA was concentrated in both small diameter and large diameter neurons and co-localized with ASIC-beta mRNA within single sensory neurons in the trigeminal ganglion. When expressed in Xenopus oocytes, ASIC-beta2 was inactive by itself. However, it associated with ASIC-beta to form heteromers, which display lower affinity for protons than ASIC-beta alone.