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J Membr Biol. 1985;83(1-2):177-86.

Permeability of the squid giant axon to organic cations and small nonelectrolytes.


The permeability of the Na channel of squid giant axon to organic cations and small nonelectrolytes was studied. The compounds tested were guanidinium, formamidinium, and 14C-labeled urea, formamide, thiourea, and acetone. Permeability was calculated from measurements of reversal potential and influx on internally perfused, voltage clamped squid axons. The project had two objectives: (1) to determine whether different methods of measuring the permeability of organic cations yield similar values and (2) to see whether neutral analogs of the organic cations can permeate the Na channel. Our results show that the permeability ratio of sodium to a test ion depends upon the ionic composition of the solution used. This finding is consistent with the view put forward previously that the Na channel can contain more than one ion at a time. In addition, we found that the uncharged analogs of permeant cations are not measurably permeant through the Na channel, but instead probably pass through the lipid bilayer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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