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

Open-channel block by internally applied amines inhibits activation gate closure in batrachotoxin-activated sodium channels.

We have studied the action of several pore-blocking amines on voltage-dependent activation gating of batrachotoxin(BTX)-activated sodium channels, from bovine heart and rat skeletal muscle, incorporated into planar lipid bilayers. Although structurally simpler, the compounds studied show general structural features and channel-inhibiting actions that resemble those of lidocaine. When applied to the cytoplasmic end of the channel, these compounds cause a rapid, voltage-dependent, open-channel block seen as a reduction in apparent single-channel amplitude (companion paper). Internal application of phenylpropanolamine, phenylethylamine, phenylmethylamine, and diethylamine, as well as causing open-channel block, reduces the probability of channel closure, producing a shift of the steady-state activation curve toward more hyperpolarizing potentials. These gating effects were observed for both cardiac and skeletal muscle channels and were not evoked by addition of equimolar N-Methyl-D-Glucamine, suggesting a specific interaction of the blockers with the channel rather than a surface charge effect. Kinetic analysis of phenylpropanolamine action on skeletal muscle channels indicated that phenylpropanolamine reduced the closed probability via two separate mechanisms. First, mean closed durations were slightly abbreviated in its presence. Second, and more important, the frequency of the gating closures was reduced. This action was correlated with the degree, and the voltage dependence, of open-channel block, suggesting that the activation gate cannot close while the pore is occluded by the blocker. Such a mechanism might underlie the previously reported immobilization of gating charge associated with local anesthetic block of unmodified sodium channels.[1]


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