Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1969 Dec;64(4):1230-4.

Photoregulation of biological activity by photochromic reagents. 3. Photoregulation of bioelectricity by acetylcholine receptor inhibitors.


The photochromic compounds N-p-phenylazophenyl-N-phenylcarbamylcholine chloride and p-phenylazophenyltrimethylammonium chloride inhibit the carbamylcholine-produced depolarization of the excitable membrane of the monocellular electroplax preparation of Electrophorus. The trans isomer of each predominates in the light of a photoflood (420 mmu) lamp; they are stronger inhibitors than the cis isomers, which predominate under ultraviolet (320 mmu) irradiation. The potential difference across the excitable membrane may be photoregulated by exposing an electroplax in the presence of a solution of carbamylcholine and either of the two compounds to light of appropriate wavelengths, since light shifts the cis-trans equilibrium. The system may be considered as a model illustrating how one may link a cis-trans isomerization, the first step in the initiation of a visual impulse, with substantial changes (20-30 mv) in the potential difference across an excitable membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center