The gating and conduction properties of a channel activated by intracellular Na+ were studied by recording unitary currents in inside-out patches excised from lobster olfactory receptor neurons. Channel openings to a single conductance level of 104 pS occurred in bursts. The open probability of the channel increased with increasing concentrations of Na+. At 210 mm Na+, membrane depolarization increased the open probability e-fold per 36.6 mV. The distribution of channel open times could be fit by a single exponential with a time constant of 4.09 msec at −60 mV and 90 mm Na+. The open time constant was not affected by the concentration of Na+, but was increased by membrane depolarization. At 180 mm Na+ and −60 mV, the distribution of channel closed times could be fit by the sum of four exponentials with time constants of 0.20, 1.46, 8.92 and 69.9 msec, respectively. The three longer time constants decreased, while the shortest time constant did not vary with the concentration of Na+. Membrane depolarization decreased all four closed time constants. Burst duration was unaffected by the concentration of Na+, but was increased by membrane depolarization. Permeability for monovalent cations relative to that of Na+ (P X /P Na ), calculated from the reversal potential, was: Li+ (1.11) > Na+ (1.0) > K+ (0.54) > Rb+ (0.36) > Cs+ (0.20). Extracellular divalent cations (10 mm) blocked the inward Na+ current at −60 mV according to the following sequence: Mn2+ > Ca2+ > Sr2+ > Mg2+ > Ba2+. Relative permeabilities for divalent cations (P Y /P Na ) were Ca2+ (39.0) > Mg2+ (34.1) > Mn2+ (15.5) > Ba2+ (13.8) > Na+ (1.0). Both the reversal potential and the conductance determined in divalent cation-free mixtures of Na+ and Cs+ or Li+ were monotonic functions of the mole fraction, suggesting that the channel is a single-ion pore that behaves as a multi-ion pore when the current is carried exclusively by divalent cations. The properties of the channel are consistent with the channel playing a role in odor activation of these primary receptor neurons.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 15, 1997
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