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J Membr Biol. 1997 Jan 1;155(1):35-45.

Hyperpolarization-activated Ca2+-permeable channels in the plasma membrane of tomato cells.

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Department of Botany, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3B2.


The hyperpolarization of the electrical plasma membrane potential difference has been identified as an early response of plant cells to various signals including fungal elicitors. The hyperpolarization-activated influx of Ca2+ into tomato cells was examined by the application of conventional patch clamp techniques. In both whole cell and single-channel recordings, clamped membrane voltages more negative than -120 mV resulted in time- and voltage-dependent current activation. Single-channel currents saturated with increasing activities of Ca2+ and Ba2+ from 3 to 26 mm and the single channel conductance increased from 4 pS to 11 pS in the presence of 20 mm Ca2+ or Ba2+, respectively. These channels were 20-25 and 10-13 times more permeable to Ca2+ than to K+ and to Cl-, respectively. Channel currents were strongly inhibited by 10 microM lanthanum and 50% inhibited by 100 microM nifedipine. This evidence suggests that hyperpolarization-activated Ca2+-permeable channels provide a mechanism for the influx of Ca2+ into tomato cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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