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Nat Protoc. 2007;2(11):2826-41.

Single-channel recording of ligand-gated ion channels.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


Electrophysiological recording of single-channel currents is the most direct method available for obtaining detailed and precise information about the kinetic behavior of ion channels. A wide variety of cell types can be used for single-channel recording, but to obtain the highest resolution of the briefest channel opening and closing events, low-noise recordings, coupled with a minimal filtering frequency, are required. Here, we present a protocol designed to help those with some electrophysiological expertise who wish to explore the properties of native and recombinant single ligand-gated ion channels. We have focused on the practical aspects of recording single GABA channels from cell-attached and outside-out patches and also introduced some of the preliminary considerations that are necessary for the analysis of single-channel data, including an introduction to single-channel analysis software.

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