Gating of Batrachotoxin-Activated Sodium Channels in Lipid Bilayers

  • Robert J. French
  • Jennings F. WorleyIII
  • Marc B. Blaustein
  • William O. RomineJr.
  • Kenneth K. Tam
  • Bruce K. Krueger


Sodium channels incorporated into planar lipid bilayers share many fundamental properties with sodium channels in general and thus provide a useful system for the study of various aspects of channel behavior. Use of the steroidal alkaloid toxin batrachotoxin (BTX) was a crucial aid in making the first electrical recordings from voltage-dependent sodium channels incorporated into artificial lipid membranes from native membrane vesicles from rat brain (Krueger et al., 1983). Batrachotoxin has now been used to enable studies of sodium channels from other tissues (sarcolemma: Moczydlowski et al., 1984a, b; canine brain: Green et al., 1984) and of reconstituted, purified sodium channels from rat brain (Hartshorne et al., 1985). Rosenberg et al. (1984) have recently reported patch-clamp recordings from sodium channels, purified from eel electric organ and reconstituted into liposomes, using depolarizing voltage steps to transiently open the channels in the absence of BTX. However, the use of relatively large (100–200 μm) planar bilayers formed from decane-lipid solutions is at present the easiest and most reliable approach to making electrical recordings from sodium channels in a “reconstituted” system.


Sodium Channel Planar Lipid Bilayer Squid Giant Axon Fractional Open Time Planar Bilayer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. French
    • 1
  • Jennings F. WorleyIII
    • 2
  • Marc B. Blaustein
    • 2
  • William O. RomineJr.
    • 2
  • Kenneth K. Tam
    • 1
  • Bruce K. Krueger
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiophysicsUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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