The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 118, Issue 1, pp 55–67

Coupling of K+-gating and permeation with Ca2+ block in the Ca2+-Activated K+ channel inChara australis

  • D. R. Laver

DOI: 10.1007/BF01872204

Cite this article as:
Laver, D.R. J. Membrain Biol. (1990) 118: 55. doi:10.1007/BF01872204


The patch-clamp technique is used here to investigate the kinetics of Ca2+ block in single high-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels. These channels are detected in the membrane surounding cytoplasmic drops fromChara australis, a membrane which originates from the tonoplast of the parent cell. The amplitudes and durations of single channel events are measured over a wide range of membrane potential (−300 to 200 mV). Ca2+ on either side of the channel reduces its K+ conductance and alters its ion-gating characteristics in a voltage-dependent manner. This Ca2+-induced attenuation of conductance is analyzed using the theory of diffusion-limited ion flow through pores. Interaction of external Ca2+ with the channel's ion-gating mechanism is examined in terms of a kinetic model for ion-gating that includes two voltage-dependent gating mechanisms. The kinetics of channel block by external Ca2+ indicates that (i) external Ca2+ binds at two sites, a superficial site and a deep site, located at 8 and 40% along the trans-pore potential difference, (ii) the external vestibule cannot be occupied by more than one Ca2+ or K+, and (iii) the kinetics of Ca2+ binding at the deep site is coupled with that of a voltage-dependent gate on the external side of the channel. Kinetics of channel block by internal Ca2+ indicates that more than one Ca2+ is involved.

Key Words

Ca2+ block diffusion limitation ion-channel structure 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. R. Laver
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological Sciences, A12The University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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