, Volume 155, Issue 3, pp 263-274

The Actions of Calmodulin Antagonists W-7 and TFP and of Calcium on the Gating Kinetics of the Calcium-activated Large Conductance Potassium Channel of the Chara Protoplasmic Drop: A Substate-sensitive Analysis

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The effects of the calmodulin antagonists W-7 and trifluoperazine have been measured on the Ca2+-activated potassium channel in the membrane surrounding protoplasmic drops expressed from internodal cells of charophyte plants. The large-conductance (170 pS), voltage- and Ca2+-dependent gating, and prominent conductance substrate of this channel shows a strong kinetic resemblance to those of the Maxi-K channel from animal cells.

This is the first study of the action of calmodulin antagonists which measures their effects on the most populated substates as well as the closed and main open states of Maxi-K channels. The substate analysis provides new evidence for different modes of action of- and different bindings sites for these calmodulin antagonists.

Neither antagonist produces the simple closure of the channel reported previously as its effect on the Maxi-K channel, though both do induce flicker-block, reducing the mean current to near zero at high concentrations following an inverted Michaelis-Menten curve.

W-7 reduces residence time in the fully open state, thus raising, in the same proportions, the probabilities of finding the channel in the closed state or a pre-existing substate. Its binding to the channel is voltage- and calcium-dependent.

In contrast, trifluoperazine reduces residence in the open state and promotes an apparently new substate which overlaps the closed state at −50 mV but is distinguishable from it at voltages more negative than −100 mV. This substate may represent times that trifluoperazine is bound to the channel.

Both antagonists have effects clearly distinguishable from that of withdrawing calcium from the channel, which does not affect open state residence time but increases closed state residence time. Thus neither antagonist reverses the activating effect of Ca2−. This is good kinetic evidence against the view that the channel is activated by Ca2+-calmodulin and that the effect of a calmodulin antagonist is to reverse this process by making Ca2−-calmodulin less available.

Received: 26 August 1996/Revised: 7 October 1996