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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jul 23;99(15):10215-20. Epub 2002 Jul 2.

The number of K(+) channels in the plasma membrane of guard cell protoplasts changes in parallel with the surface area.

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Institute of Botany, Technical University of Darmstadt, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany.


The activity of the two dominant K(+) channels in the plasma membrane of Vicia faba guard cell protoplasts was examined during pressure-driven swelling. For this purpose, the K(+) currents and the membrane capacitance (C(m)) of guard cell protoplasts were recorded in parallel. A rise in C(m), reflecting an increase of the membrane surface area, was coupled to a proportional rise in conductance of both the K(+) inward and K(+) outward rectifier. The activation kinetics of the K(+) channels were not affected during this process. The quantitative and temporal coupling of C(m) and K(+) conductance can hence be interpreted as the result of the addition of active inward and outward rectifier K(+) channels to the plasma membrane during an increase in surface area.

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