Kinetic investigations of stimulus response coupling in the green alga Chara have revealed that an intermediate second messenger is formed in the process of membrane excitation. This second messenger links electrical stimulation to the mobilization of Ca2+ from internal stores. In the present work, the experimentally based kinetic model, which describes the stimulus-dependent production of the second messenger and Ca2+ mobilization, is combined with a model for inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-and Ca2+-sensitive gating of a Ca2+-release channel in endomembranes of animal cells. The combination of models allows a good simulation of experimental data, including the all-or-none-type dependence of the Ca2+ response on stimulus duration and complex phase locking phenomena for the dependence of the Ca2+ response on stimulation frequency. The model offers a molecular explanation for the refractory phenomenon in Chara, assigning it to the life time of an inactive state of the Ca2+-release channel. The model furthermore explains the steep dependence of excitation on strength/duration of electrical stimulation as a consequence of an interplay of the dynamical variables in the model.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2003
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