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Modification of sodium and gating currents by amino group specific cross-linking and monofunctional reagents.

By G Drews and M Rack


To test the possible role of lysine residues in Na channel function the effects of several imidoesters on Na and gating currents were studied in voltage-clamped single frog nerve fibers. Mono- and bisimidoesters were used. These reagents modify amino groups exclusively and do not change the net charge. The three bisimidoesters used easily introduce cross-links between neighboring amino groups. Their structure is almost identical; only the length of the spacers between the two amino-reactive groups is different. An irreversible reduction of Na currents and gating currents was observed with the longest (dimethyl suberimidate [DMS]) and the shortest (dimethyl adipimidate [DMA]) of the cross-linkers used. Of the three cross-linking reagents only the shortest made Na current inactivation slow and incomplete. The steady-state inactivation curve, h infinity (E), was shifted by greater than 25 mV in the hyperpolarizing direction by each of the reagents. The voltage dependence of activation, however, remained unchanged. Furthermore, the effects of two different monoimidoesters (ethyl acetimidate [EAI] and isethionyl acetimidate [IAI]) on gating currents were tested. EAI can penetrate a membrane, whereas IAI is membrane impermeant. IAI was almost without effect, whereas EAI caused a considerable reduction of the gating currents. EAI and DMS reduced the Qoff/Qon ratio without affecting the decay of the Na currents. The results show that lysine residues are critically involved in Na channel gating

Topics: Research Article
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