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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)
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)
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)
Memantine is a blocker of Ca(2+)-permeable glutamate and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). We investigated the action of memantine on cholinergic synaptic transmission at cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs). At this inhibitory synapse, hyperpolarization of the postsynaptic cell results from opening of SK-type Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels via a(More)
Cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) transduce sound-induced vibrations into a receptor potential (RP) that controls afferent synaptic activity and, consequently, frequency and timing of action potentials in the postsynaptic auditory neurons. The RP is thought to be shaped by the two voltage-dependent K+ conductances, I(K,f) and I(K,s), that are carried by(More)