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CLCN5 gene

chloride voltage-gated channel 5

Normal Function

The CLCN5 gene provides instructions for making a protein called ClC-5 that transports charged atoms (ions) across cell membranes. Specifically, ClC-5 exchanges negatively charged atoms of chlorine (chloride ions) for positively charged atoms of hydrogen (protons or hydrogen ions). Based on this function, ClC-5 is known as a H+/Cl- exchanger.

ClC-5 is found primarily in the kidneys, particularly in structures called proximal tubules. These structures help to reabsorb nutrients, water, and other materials that have been filtered from the bloodstream. The kidneys reabsorb needed materials into the blood and excrete everything else into the urine.

Within proximal tubule cells, ClC-5 is embedded in specialized compartments called endosomes. Endosomes are formed at the cell surface to carry proteins and other molecules to their destinations within the cell. ClC-5 transports hydrogen ions into endosomes and chloride ions out, which helps these compartments maintain the proper acidity level (pH). Endosomal pH levels must be tightly regulated for proximal tubule cells to function properly.

Health Conditions Related to Genetic Changes

Dent disease

About 150 mutations in the CLCN5 gene have been found to cause Dent disease 1, a chronic kidney disorder that can cause kidney failure. Most of the mutations lead to the production of an abnormally short, nonfunctional version of ClC-5 or prevent cells from producing any of this protein. A loss of ClC-5 alters the regulation of endosomal pH, which disrupts the overall function of proximal tubule cells and prevents them from reabsorbing proteins and other materials into the bloodstream. As a result, proteins are lost through the urine (tubular proteinuria). A failure to reabsorb calcium and other nutrients into the bloodstream can cause bone defects, kidney stones, and related health problems in people with Dent disease 1. Abnormal proximal tubule function ultimately leads to kidney failure in most affected individuals.

More About This Health Condition

Hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets

MedlinePlus Genetics provides information about Hereditary hypophosphatemic rickets

More About This Health Condition

Other Names for This Gene

  • chloride channel 5
  • chloride channel protein 5
  • chloride channel, voltage-sensitive 5
  • chloride transporter ClC-5
  • clC-5
  • CLC5
  • CLCK2
  • H(+)/Cl(-) exchange transporter 5
  • hCIC-K2
  • hClC-K2
  • NPHL1
  • NPHL2
  • XLRH
  • XRN

Additional Information & Resources

Tests Listed in the Genetic Testing Registry

Scientific Articles on PubMed

Catalog of Genes and Diseases from OMIM

Gene and Variant Databases


  • Christensen EI, Devuyst O, Dom G, Nielsen R, Van der Smissen P, Verroust P, Leruth M, Guggino WB, Courtoy PJ. Loss of chloride channel ClC-5 impairs endocytosis by defective trafficking of megalin and cubilin in kidney proximal tubules. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Jul 8;100(14):8472-7. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1432873100. Epub 2003 Jun 18. Citation on PubMed or Free article on PubMed Central
  • Claverie-Martin F, Ramos-Trujillo E, Garcia-Nieto V. Dent's disease: clinical features and molecular basis. Pediatr Nephrol. 2011 May;26(5):693-704. doi: 10.1007/s00467-010-1657-0. Epub 2010 Oct 10. Citation on PubMed
  • Cox JP, Yamamoto K, Christie PT, Wooding C, Feest T, Flinter FA, Goodyer PR, Leumann E, Neuhaus T, Reid C, Williams PF, Wrong O, Thakker RV. Renal chloride channel, CLCN5, mutations in Dent's disease. J Bone Miner Res. 1999 Sep;14(9):1536-42. doi: 10.1359/jbmr.1999.14.9.1536. Citation on PubMed
  • Devuyst O, Christie PT, Courtoy PJ, Beauwens R, Thakker RV. Intra-renal and subcellular distribution of the human chloride channel, CLC-5, reveals a pathophysiological basis for Dent's disease. Hum Mol Genet. 1999 Feb;8(2):247-57. doi: 10.1093/hmg/8.2.247. Citation on PubMed
  • Fisher SE, van Bakel I, Lloyd SE, Pearce SH, Thakker RV, Craig IW. Cloning and characterization of CLCN5, the human kidney chloride channel gene implicated in Dent disease (an X-linked hereditary nephrolithiasis). Genomics. 1995 Oct 10;29(3):598-606. doi: 10.1006/geno.1995.9960. Citation on PubMed
  • Lloyd SE, Pearce SH, Fisher SE, Steinmeyer K, Schwappach B, Scheinman SJ, Harding B, Bolino A, Devoto M, Goodyer P, Rigden SP, Wrong O, Jentsch TJ, Craig IW, Thakker RV. A common molecular basis for three inherited kidney stone diseases. Nature. 1996 Feb 1;379(6564):445-9. doi: 10.1038/379445a0. Citation on PubMed
  • Lourdel S, Grand T, Burgos J, Gonzalez W, Sepulveda FV, Teulon J. ClC-5 mutations associated with Dent's disease: a major role of the dimer interface. Pflugers Arch. 2012 Feb;463(2):247-56. doi: 10.1007/s00424-011-1052-0. Epub 2011 Nov 15. Citation on PubMed
  • Picollo A, Pusch M. Chloride/proton antiporter activity of mammalian CLC proteins ClC-4 and ClC-5. Nature. 2005 Jul 21;436(7049):420-3. doi: 10.1038/nature03720. Citation on PubMed
  • Wellhauser L, D'Antonio C, Bear CE. ClC transporters: discoveries and challenges in defining the mechanisms underlying function and regulation of ClC-5. Pflugers Arch. 2010 Jul;460(2):543-57. doi: 10.1007/s00424-009-0769-5. Epub 2010 Jan 5. Citation on PubMed

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