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J Membr Biol. 1985;87(3):191-9.

Interactions of amiloride and other blocking cations with the apical Na channel in the toad urinary bladder.


A simple model of the action of amiloride to block apical Na channels in the toad urinary bladder was tested. According to the model, the positively charged form of the drug binds to a site in the lumen of the channel within the electric field of the membrane. In agreement with the predictions of the model: (1) The voltage dependence of amiloride block was consistent with the assumption of a single amiloride binding site, at which about 15% of the transmembrane voltage is sensed, over a voltage range of +/- 160 mV. (2) The time course of the development of voltage dependence was consistent with that predicted from the rate constants for amiloride binding previously determined. (3) The ability of organic cations to mimic the action of amiloride showed a size dependence implying a restriction of access to the binding site, with an effective diameter of about 5 angstroms. In a fourth test, divalent cations (Ca, Mg, Ba and Sr) were found to block Na channels with a complex voltage dependence, suggesting that these ions interact with two or more sites, at least one of which may be within the lumen of the pore.

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