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We describe the isolation and characterization of a cDNA encoding the alpha subunit of a new voltage-sensitive sodium channel, microI, from rat skeletal muscle. The 1840 amino acid microI peptide is homologous to alpha subunits from rat brain, but, like the protein from eel electroplax, lacks an extended (approximately 200) amino acid segment between(More)
Recent immunohistochemical evidence from the rat, indicating that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-containing fibres of central nervous origin project to the pars intermedia of the pituitary1,2, prompts inquiry into the function of this innervation. There is electrophysiological evidence that GABA acts directly on melanotrophs isolated from rat, through(More)
The tetrodotoxin-binding protein purified from electroplax of Electrophorus electricus has been reincorporated into multilamellar vesicles that were used for patch recording. When excised patches of these reconstituted membranes were voltage clamped in the absence of neurotoxins, voltage-dependent single-channel currents were recorded. These displayed(More)
A fluorescence assay for measuring Na channel activation in liposomes containing voltage-sensitive Na channels isolated from Electrophorus electricus is described. The assay is based on transport of a heavy-metal cation, T1+, through the activated channel to quench fluorescence of an internalized, water-soluble chromophore. The channel is "locked" in a(More)
Since melanotrophs are electrically active and exhibit spontaneous Na spikes, a study was made of the effects, on melanotroph secretion, of drugs known to influence electrical properties. The output of melanocyte-stimulating hormone was measured from perifused neurointermediate lobes of mice or melanotrophs dispersed from such lobes of mice or rats.(More)
Current pulses applied to isolated neurointermediate lobes of mice increased output of melanocyte-stimulating hormone. This response was dependent on extracellular calcium over a wide range of stimulus intensities and thus appears to be a true secretory response from the melanotrophs. Since substantial responses persisted in the presence of tetrodotoxin,(More)
In summary, the voltage-sensitive sodium channel from eel electroplax provides an optimal preparation for biochemical and biophysical studies of molecular structure and gating. We have demonstrated that the purified and reconstituted protein is capable of functioning normally, exhibiting, among other properties, voltage-dependent activation and inactivation(More)
Ba ions caused an intense and prolonged discharge of melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) from perifused neurointermediate lobes of mouse pituitaries and dispersed pars intermedia cells. The effect persisted in chronically cultured lobes or cells. It did not require Ca, but, like the Ca-dependent response to excess K, was blocked by cyanide combined with(More)
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