Effects of thiol-modifying agents on KATP channels in guinea pig ventricular cells

Am J Physiol. 1995 Nov;269(5 Pt 2):H1625-33. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.1995.269.5.H1625.


ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channels are thought only to open during conditions of metabolic impairment (e.g., myocardial ischemia). However, the regulation of KATP channel opening during ischemia remains poorly understood. We tested whether thiol (SH) group oxidation, which is known to occur during ischemia, may be involved in KATP channel regulation. Inside-out membrane patches were voltage clamped at a constant potential (O mV) in asymmetrical K+ solutions. The effects of compounds that specifically modify SH groups [p-chloromercuri-phenylsulfonic acid (pCMPS), 5-5'-dithio-bis(2-nitrobenzoic acid) [DTNB], and thimerosal] were tested. The membrane-impermeable compound, pCMPS (> or = 5 microM), caused a quick and irreversible inhibition of KATP channel activity. The reducing agent, dl-dithiothreitol (DTT) (3 mM) was able to reverse this inhibition. DTNB (500 microM) caused a rapid, but spontaneously reversible, block of KATP channel activity. After DTNB, no change was observed in single channel conductance. Oxidized glutathione (GSSG, 3 mM) did not block KATP channel activity. Thimerosal (100-500 microM) induced a DTT-reversible block of partially rundown KATP channels, or channels that underwent complete rundown; these channels were reactivated with trypsin (1 mg/ml). Thimerosal did not block KATP channels that had a high degree of activity. However, the ATP sensitivity was decreased; the concentration of ATP needed to half-maximally inhibit the channel (Ki) was increased from 47 +/- 12 to 221 +/- 35 microM (n = 6, P < 0.05). This was not due to a spontaneous change with time.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 4-Chloromercuribenzenesulfonate / pharmacology*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / pharmacology
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Dithionitrobenzoic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Dithiothreitol / pharmacology
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Myocardium / metabolism*
  • Potassium Channels / drug effects*
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism
  • Sulfhydryl Reagents / pharmacology*
  • Thimerosal / pharmacology*


  • Potassium Channels
  • Sulfhydryl Reagents
  • Thimerosal
  • 4-Chloromercuribenzenesulfonate
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Dithionitrobenzoic Acid
  • Dithiothreitol