The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 77–91 | Cite as

Axonal microtubules necessary for generation of sodium current in squid giant axons: I. pharmacological study on sodium current and restoration of sodium current by microtubule proteins and 260K protein

  • Gen Matsumoto
  • Michinori Ichikawa
  • Akira Tasaki
  • Hiromu Murofushi
  • Hikoichi Sakai


Effects of the reagents suppressing or supporting axoplasmic microtubule assembly were studied on the Na ionic current of squid giant axons by perfusing the axon internally with the solution containing the reagent. Among the reagents suppressing the assembly, colchicine, vinblastine, podophyllotoxin, sulfhydryl reagents such as DTNB and NEM, and chaotropic anions such as iodide and bromide, were examined. These reagents reduced maximum Na conductance and shifted the voltage dependence of steady-state Na activation in a depolarizing direction along the voltage axis. They also made the voltage dependence less steep, but did not affect sodium inactivation appreciably. Effects on Na ionic current of reagents which support microtubule assembly (Taxol, DMSO, D2O and temperature) were opposite the effects of those agents suppressing assembly. At the same time, we demonstrated that after Na currents were partially reduced, they could be restored by internally perfusing the axon with a solution containing microtubule proteins, 260K proteins and cAMP under conditions favorable for microtubule assembly. For full restoration, it was found that the following conditions were necessary: (1) The microenvironment within the axon is suitable for microtubule assembly. (2) Tubulins incorporated into microtubules are fully tyrosinated at their C-termini. (3) A peripheral protein having a molecular weight of 260,000 daltons (260K protein) is indispensable. These results suggest that axoplasmic microtubules and 260K proteins in the structure underlying the axolemma play a role in generating Na currents in squid giant axons.

Key Words

Na current axoplasmic microtubules 260K proteins 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gen Matsumoto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michinori Ichikawa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Akira Tasaki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hiromu Murofushi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hikoichi Sakai
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Electrotechnical Laboratory, Tsukuba Science CityIbarakiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Faculty of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Institute of Applied PhysicsThe University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Science CityIbarakiJapan

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