Electrical Phenomena Associated with the Activity of the Membrane-Bound Acetylcholinesterase

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Science  29 Sep 1967:
Vol. 157, Issue 3796, pp. 1579-1581
DOI: 10.1126/science.157.3796.1579


Treatment of isolated electroplax with physiological solutions supplemented with either 1 molar sodium chloride, 2 molar urea, or 2 molar sucrose renders the cell insensitive to carbamylcholine, phenyltrimethylammonium, or decamethonium even at high concentrations. The treated cells have a residual resting potential of -20 ± 10 millivolts (negative inside) and are depolarized by acetylcholine at concentrations larger than 10-3 mole per liter. This response is not affected by d-tubocurarine but is blocked by physostigmine, diisopropylphosphorofluoridate, or strong buffers and thus depends on the catalytic activity of the membrane-bound acetylcholinesterase.