A voltage-dependent chloride current linked to the cell cycle in ascidian embryos

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Science  02 Mar 1990:
Vol. 247, Issue 4946, pp. 1090-1092
DOI: 10.1126/science.2309122


A voltage-dependent chloride current has been found in early ascidian embryos that is a minor conductance in the oocyte and in interphase blastomeres but that increases transiently in amplitude by more than tenfold during each cell division. Repeated cycles in the density of this chloride current could be recorded for up to 6 hours (four cycles) in cleavage-arrested embryos, whether they were activated by sperm or calcium ionophore. These data suggest that there is a direct link between the cell cycle clock and the properties of this channel, a link that results in pronounced cyclical changes in the electrical properties of early blastomeres.

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