Fast and slow gating of sodium channels encoded by a single mRNA.
We investigated the kinetics of rat brain type III Na+ currents expressed in Xenopus oocytes. We found distinct patterns of fast and slow gating. Fast gating was characterized by bursts of longer openings. Traces with slow gating occurred in runs with lifetimes of 5 and 30 s and were separated by periods with lifetimes of 5 and 80 s. Cycling of fast and slow gating was present in excised outside-out patches at 10 degrees C, suggesting that metabolic factors are not essential for both forms of gating. It is unlikely that more than one population of channels was expressed, as patches with purely fast or purely slow gating were not observed. We suggest that structural mechanisms for fast and slow gating are encoded in the primary amino acid sequence of the channel protein.
Moorman, JR; Kirsch, GE; VanDongen, AM; Joho, RH; Brown, AM
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