The recent development of techniques for recording currents through single ionic channels has led to the identification of a K+-specific channel that is activated by cytoplasmic Ca2+. The channel has complex properties, being activated by depolarizing voltages and having a voltage-sensitivity that is modulated by cytoplasmic Ca2+ levels. The conduction behaviour of the channel is also unusual, its high ionic selectivity being displayed simultaneously with a very high unitary conductance. Very little is known about the biochemistry of this channel, largely due to the lack of a suitable ligand for use as a biochemical probe for the channel. We describe here a protein inhibitor of single Ca2+-activated K+ channels of mammalian skeletal muscle. This inhibitor, a minor component of the venom of the Israeli scorpion, Leiurus quinquestriatus, reversibly blocks the large Ca2+-activated K+ channel in a simple biomolecular reaction. We have partially purified the active component, a basic protein of relative molecular mass (Mr) approximately 7,000.