Gating of retinal rod cation channel by different nucleotides: comparative study of unitary currents

J Membr Biol. 1992 Oct;130(1):91-104. doi: 10.1007/BF00233741.


Single channels are observed after incorporation of native vesicles from bovine rod outer segment membranes into planar lipid bilayers. The activity of a single channel in the presence of cGMP is compared to that induced by the analog 8-bromo-cGMP and by cAMP. At +80 mV, K0.5 is about 3 microM for 8Br-cGMP, 18 microM for cGMP and 740 microM for cAMP. In cAMP, the amplitude of the current is smaller than in cGMP or 8Br-cGMP and depends on the filter cut-off frequency. The open/closed transition rates of the channel are slightly slower with 8Br-cGMP than with cGMP while they are 5 to 10 times faster with cAMP. Addition of Ni2+ ions to either cGMP or cAMP increases the open probability: the open/closed transition rates and amplitude of the current in cAMP are then comparable to those in cGMP. A dual effect of the addition of cAMP on the cGMP- or 8Br-cGMP-dependent activity previously reported (Furman, R.E., Tanaka, J.C. 1989. Biochemistry 28:2785-2788) is observed with a single channel: addition of subthreshold cAMP concentrations to cGMP (or to 8Br-cGMP) markedly increases Po; addition of cAMP concentrations higher than about 70 microM progressively accelerates the kinetics and reduces the amplitude to values observed in cAMP alone. The results are discussed in relation with the model previously proposed to account for the existence of four current levels (Ildefonse, M., Bennett, N. 1991. J. Membrane Biol. 123:133-147).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology
  • Cyclic GMP / analogs & derivatives
  • Cyclic GMP / pharmacology
  • Drug Combinations
  • Electric Conductivity / drug effects
  • Ion Channel Gating / drug effects
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology*
  • Ion Channels / drug effects
  • Ion Channels / metabolism
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Lipid Bilayers / metabolism
  • Nickel / pharmacology
  • Probability
  • Purine Nucleotides / pharmacology*
  • Rod Cell Outer Segment / metabolism
  • Rod Cell Outer Segment / physiology*


  • Drug Combinations
  • Ion Channels
  • Lipid Bilayers
  • Purine Nucleotides
  • 8-bromocyclic GMP
  • Nickel
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic GMP