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J Physiol. 1996 Nov 1;496 ( Pt 3):627-37.

Characterization of apamin-sensitive Ca(2+)-activated potassium channels in human leukaemic T lymphocytes.

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Department of Applied Physiology, University Ulm, Germany.


1. The whole-cell recording mode of the patch-clamp technique was used to study the effect of extracellularly applied ions, toxins and drugs on voltage-independent, apamin-sensitive Ca(2+)-activated K+ channels, K(Ca), expressed in the Jurkat human leukaemic T cell line. 2. Extracellular Ba2+ and Sr+ produced a voltage-dependent block. The equilibrium dissociation constant of the Ba2+/K(Ca) channel complex increased e-fold for a 20 mV change of potential. Ba2+ block of Jurkat K(Ca) channels is therefore as steep as expected from the movement of a single divalent cation about half-way into the electric field of the membrane from the outside. 3. We determined the ion selectivity as well as the conductance of these channels. Calculated permeability ratios, PX/PK, for these K(Ca) channels were 1.0, 0.96, 0.26 and 0.53 for K+, Rb+, Cs+ and NH4+, respectively. Conductance ratios, gX/gK, for the same ions were 1.0, 1.0, 0.67 and 0.11, respectively. Most strikingly this channel can also carry significant current with Cs+ as current carrier. 4. Scyllatoxin (ScTX), a thirty-one amino acid peptide toxin, reduced current through these K(Ca) channels with a half-blocking concentration of approximately 0.3 nM independent of the pH. Other drugs that were able to reduce current through these channels include the classical calcium antagonists diltiazem and verapamil. In contrast, nifedipine, clotrimazole and kaliotoxin (100 nM) were unable to block current through these channels in Jurkat T cells.

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