A member of the family of Ca++-independent large conductance K+ channels (termed BK channels) was identified in patch clamp experiments with cultured neonatal rat hippocampal neurons. Permeation was characterized (at 5 mmol/l external, 140 mmol/l internal K+; 135 mmol/l external Na+) by a conductance of 107 pS, a ratio PNa/PK∼ 0.01, and outward rectification near the reversal potential. Channel activity was not voltage-dependent, could not be reduced by internal TEA or by a shift of internal pH from 7.4 to 6.8, i.e., discriminating features within the Ca++-independent BK channel family. Cytosolic proteolysis abolished the functional state of hippocampal Ca++-independent BK channels, in contrast to the pronase resistance of hippocampal Ca++-activated BK channels which suggests structural dissimilarities between these related channels.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 1998
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