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Neuron. 1991 Nov;7(5):775-85.

Multiple gating modes and the effect of modulating factors on the microI sodium channel.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06510.


Macroscopic current from the microI skeletal muscle sodium channel expressed in Xenopus oocytes shows inactivation with two exponential components. The major, slower component's amplitude decreases with rapid pulsing. When microI cRNA is coinjected with rat skeletal muscle or brain mRNA the faster component becomes predominant. Individual microI channels switch between two principal gating modes, opening either only once per depolarization, or repeatedly in long bursts. These two modes differ in both activation and inactivation kinetics. There is also evidence for additional gating modes. It appears that the equilibrium among gating modes is influenced by a modulating factor encoded in rat skeletal muscle and brain mRNA. The modal gating is similar to that observed in hyperkalemic periodic paralysis.

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