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Fast inhibitory synaptic transmission in the central nervous system is mediated by ionotropic GABA or glycine receptors. Auditory outer hair cells present a unique inhibitory synapse that uses a Ca2+-permeable excitatory acetylcholine receptor to activate a hyperpolarizing potassium current mediated by small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK)(More)
In most central neurons, action potentials are followed by an afterhyperpolarization (AHP) that controls firing pattern and excitability. The medium and slow components of the AHP have been ascribed to the activation of small conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium (SK) channels. Cloned SK channels are heteromeric complexes of SK alpha-subunits and(More)
Voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channels control action potential repolarization, interspike membrane potential, and action potential frequency in excitable cells. It is thought that the combinatorial association between distinct alpha and beta subunits determines whether Kv channels function as non-inactivating delayed rectifiers or as rapidly inactivating(More)
Outer hair cells of the cultured organ of Corti from newborn rats (0-11 days after birth) were studied in the whole-cell patch-clamp configuration. A voltage-activated sodium current was detected in 97% (n = 109) of the cells at 0-9 days after birth. The properties of this current were: (1) its activation and inactivation kinetics were fast and(More)
Individual members of the mammalian SLC26 anion transporter family serve two fundamentally distinct functions. Whereas most members transport different anion substrates across a variety of epithelia, prestin (SLC26A5) is special, functioning as a membrane-localized motor protein that generates electrically induced motions (electromotility) in auditory(More)
Outer hair cells (OHCs) of the mammalian cochlea actively change their cell length in response to changes in membrane potential. This electromotility, thought to be the basis of cochlear amplification, is mediated by a voltage-sensitive motor molecule recently identified as the membrane protein prestin. Here, we show that voltage sensitivity is conferred to(More)
Large-conductance calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels (BKCa) are dually activated by membrane depolarization and elevation of cytosolic calcium ions (Ca2+). Under normal cellular conditions, BKCa channel activation requires Ca2+ concentrations that typically occur in close proximity to Ca2+ sources. We show that BKCa channels affinity-purified(More)
Small conductance Ca(2+)-activated K+ channels (SK channels) couple the membrane potential to fluctuations in intracellular Ca2+ concentration in many types of cells. SK channels are gated by Ca2+ ions via calmodulin that is constitutively bound to the intracellular C terminus of the channels and serves as the Ca2+ sensor. Here we show that, in addition,(More)
1. The non-linear capacitance (Cnon-lin) of postnatal outer hair cells (OHCs) of the rat was measured by a patch-clamp lock-in technique. Cnon-lin is thought to result from a membrane protein that provides the molecular basis for the unique electromotility of OHCs by undergoing conformational changes in response to changes in membrane potential (Vm).(More)
The defining characteristic of large-conductance Ca(2)(+)- and voltage-activated K(+) channels (BK(Ca)) is their allosteric activation by two distinct stimuli, membrane depolarization and cytosolic Ca(2)(+) ions. In this allosteric gating, increasing cytosolic Ca(2)(+) concentration ([Ca(2)(+)](i)) shifts the depolarization required for channel opening into(More)