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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Four cases of direct ion channel gating by cyclic nucleotides.

Four different nucleotide-gated ion channels are discussed in terms of their biophysical properties and their importance in cell physiology. Channels activated directly by cGMP are present in vertebrate and invertebrate photoreceptors. In both cases cGMP increases the fraction of time the channel remains in the open state. At least three cGMP molecules are involved in channel opening in vertebrate photoreceptors and the concentration of the cyclic nucleotide to obtain the half maximal effect is about 15 microM. The light-dependent channel of both vertebrates and invertebrates is poorly cation selective. The vertebrate channel allows divalent cations to pass through 10-15-fold more easily than monovalent ions. In agreement with their preference for divalent cations, this channel is blocked by l-cis Dialtazem, a molecule that blocks certain types of calcium channels. In olfactory neurons a channel activated by both cAMP and cGMP is found and, as in the light-dependent channel, several molecules of the nucleotide are needed to open the channel with a half maximal effect obtained in the range of 1-40 microM. The channel is poorly cationic selective. A K+ channel directly and specifically activated by cAMP is found in Drosophila larval muscle. At least three cAMP molecules are involved in the opening reaction. Half-maximal effect is obtained at about 50 microM. This channel is blocked by micromolar amount of tetraethylammonium applied internally. Interestingly, this channel has a probability of opening 10-20-fold larger in the mutant dunce, a mutant that possesses abnormally elevated intracellular cAMP level, than in the wild type.[1]


  1. Four cases of direct ion channel gating by cyclic nucleotides. Latorre, R., Bacigalupo, J., Delgado, R., Labarca, P. J. Bioenerg. Biomembr. (1991) [Pubmed]
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