The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 165, Issue 2, pp 133–143

The Action of Blocking Agents Applied to the Inner Face of Ca2+-activated K+ Channels from Human Erythrocytes

  • P.M.  Dunn

DOI: 10.1007/s002329900427

Cite this article as:
Dunn, P. J. Membrane Biol. (1998) 165: 133. doi:10.1007/s002329900427


The actions of clotrimazole and cetiedil, two drugs known to inhibit the Gardos channel, have been studied on single intermediate conductance calcium-activated potassium (IKCa) channels in inside out patches from human red blood cells, and compared with those of TEA and Ba2+ applied to the cytoplasmic face of the membrane. TEA produced a fast block which was observed as a reduction in the amplitude of the single channel current. This effect was weakly voltage dependent with the fraction of the membrane potential sensed by TEA at its binding site (δ) of 0.18 and a Kd at 0 mV of 20.5 mm. Ba2+ was a very potent blocker of the channel, breaking the single channel activity up into bursts, interspersed with silent periods lasting several seconds. The effect of Ba2+ was very voltage sensitive, δ= 0.44, and a Kd at 0 mV of 0.15 μm. Clotrimazole applied to the inner face of the membrane at a concentration ≤1 μm produced a slow block resulting in bursts of channel activity separated by quiescent periods lasting many seconds. The effect of clotrimazole was mimicked by a quaternary derivative UCL 1559, in keeping with an action at the cytoplasmic face of the channel. A high concentration of cetiedil (100 μm) produced only a weak block of the channel. The kinetics of this action were very slow, with burst and inter-burst intervals lasting several minutes. While inhibition of the Gardos channel by cetiedil is unlikely to involve an intracellular site of action, if clotrimazole is able to penetrate the membrane, part of its effect may result from binding to an intracellular site on the channel.

Key words: Calcium activated — Potassium channel — Erythrocyte — Clotrimazole — Cetiedil 

Copyright information

© 1998 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

Authors and Affiliations

  • P.M.  Dunn
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept of Pharmacology, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UKGB

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