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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)
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)
The functional reconstitution of the voltage-regulated Na channel purified from the electroplax of Electrophorus electricus is described. Reconstitution was achieved by removing detergent with Bio-Beads SM-2 followed by freeze-thaw-sonication in the presence of added liposomes. This preparation displayed heat-stable binding of 3H-labeled tetrodotoxin (TTX)(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)
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)
At equilibrium, voltage-sensitive sodium channels normally are closed at all potentials. They open transiently in response to changes in membrane voltage or chronically under the influence of certain neurotoxins. Covalent modifications that result in chronic opening may help identify molecular domains involved in conductance regulation. Here, the purified(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)