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Plant Physiol. 1999 Jan;119(1):277-88.

A steep dependence of inward-rectifying potassium channels on cytosolic free calcium concentration increase evoked by hyperpolarization in guard cells

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  • 1Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biophysics, University of London, Wye College, Wye, Kent TN25 5AH, United Kingdom.


Inactivation of inward-rectifying K+ channels (IK,in) by a rise in cytosolic free [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]i) is a key event leading to solute loss from guard cells and stomatal closure. However, [Ca2+]i action on IK,in has never been quantified, nor are its origins well understood. We used membrane voltage to manipulate [Ca2+]i (A. Grabov and M.R. Blatt [1998] Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 95: 4778-4783) while recording IK,in under a voltage clamp and [Ca2+]i by Fura-2 fluorescence ratiophotometry. IK,in inactivation correlated positively with [Ca2+]i and indicated a Ki of 329 +/- 31 nM with cooperative binding of four Ca2+ ions per channel. IK,in was promoted by the Ca2+ channel antagonists Gd3+ and calcicludine, both of which suppressed the [Ca2+]i rise, but the [Ca2+]i rise was unaffected by the K+ channel blocker Cs+. We also found that ryanodine, an antagonist of intracellular Ca2+ channels that mediate Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release, blocked the [Ca2+]i rise, and Mn2+ quenching of Fura-2 fluorescence showed that membrane hyperpolarization triggered divalent release from intracellular stores. These and additional results point to a high signal gain in [Ca2+]i control of IK,in and to roles for discrete Ca2+ flux pathways in feedback control of the K+ channels by membrane voltage.

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