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J Membr Biol. 1985;87(1):45-54.

Phenamil: an irreversible inhibitor of sodium channels in the toad urinary bladder.


Several new amiloride analogues and two reported photoaffinity analogues were tested for irreversible inhibition of short-circuit current, Isc, in toad bladder. Bromoamiloride, a photoaffinity analogue, induced 40% irreversible inhibition at 500 microM after irradiation with ultraviolet light greater than or equal to 320 nm. Iodoamiloride caused no irreversible inhibition. Of the new analogues tested, only 3,5-diamino-6-chloro-N-[(phenylamino) amino-methylene] pyrazinecarboxamide, phenamil, irreversibly inhibited Isc at concentrations of 0.05 to 5 microM when added to the mucosal solution. Irreversible inhibition of Isc by phenamil may be attributed to specific blockage of the mucosal sodium channels, which depended on: 1) time of exposure; 2) mucosal pH; 3) mucosal sodium concentration. For example, 5 microM phenamil irreversibly inhibited Isc by 38% in 103 mM Na at pH 8.6 and nearly 75% in 30 mM Na at pH 6.4 after a 40-min exposure. Irreversible inhibition occurred in two phases with time constants of less than or equal to 10 min and approximately 140 min. Due to its irreversible nature, phenamil may be used to measure channel density.

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