Quick-closing valve allows fish to rapidly regulate the water in their cells
The researchers studied the aquaporins on Climbing perch, anabas testudineus. This fish have the ability to stay on land which imposes some very particular demands on their aquaporins. Credit: Shutterstock

The fluid balance in cells is very important. Cells can use their aquaporins to open and close water channels when there's insufficient water being transported. A fish with a quick-closing valve has been identified by researchers at the University of Gothenburg. Drugs to treat cancer and Alzheimer's disease could be a result of this discovery.

Some fish can live for up to a week on land, while others can only live for a day or two. The demands on the aquaporins are very specific so that they can regulate the amount of water in their cells. A water channel that appears to have a quick-closing valve has been identified by studying the aquaporins in the cells of a species of climbing fish. Their findings were reported.

We presented the first high-resolution structural characterization of a water channel found on the skin and gills of fish. A previously unknown type of quick-closing valve in a water specific aquaporin can be seen on the exterior surface of this channel. The water channel can be opened or closed depending on the environment of the fish.

Reducing pressure is a vital thing to do.

It's important to understand the regulatory function of aquaporins in order to research new drugs that could save lives. It's important to be able to reduce the pressure in the brain when cerebral oedema happens.

The features that regulate the cellular fluid balance can be found in the fish's water channel. The function of brain cell aquaporins has been shown to be affected by Alzheimer's disease, so this study could be a valuable step towards the development of drugs for this disease.

This is important basic research, where we can see the regulation of the molecule. It is important for us to understand the water channels in fish so that the fish stay as healthy and comfortable as possible, in addition to its potential relevance to drug research.

The high-resolution structure of a fish aquaporin shows a novel fold. There is a book titled "106508/lsa.