Calmodulin activation of calcium-dependent sodium channels in excised membrane patches of Paramecium

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Science  21 Sep 1990:
Vol. 249, Issue 4975, pp. 1441-1444
DOI: 10.1126/science.2169650


Calmodulin is a calcium-binding protein that participates in the transduction of calcium signals. The electric phenotypes of calmodulin mutants of Paramecium have suggested that the protein may regulate some calcium-dependent ion channels. Calcium-dependent sodium single channels in excised patches of the plasma membrane from Paramecium were identified, and their activity was shown to decrease after brief exposure to submicromolar concentrations of calcium. Channel activity was restored to these inactivated patches by adding calmodulin that was isolated from Paramecium to the cytoplasmic surface. This restoration of channel activity did not require adenosine triphosphate and therefore, probably resulted from direct binding of calmodulin, either to the sodium channel itself or to a channel regulator that was associated with the patch membrane.

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