A Slowly Inactivating Potassium Current in Native Oocytes of Xenopus laevis
Membrane currents were recorded in voltage-clamped oocytes of Xenopus laevis in response to voltage steps. We describe results obtained in oocytes obtained from one donor frog, which showed an unusually large outward current upon depolarization. Measurements of reversal potentials of tail currents in solutions of different K^+ concentration indicated that this current is carried largely by K^+ ions. It was strongly reduced by extracellular application of tetraethylammonium, though not by Ba2+ or 4-aminopyridine. Removal of surrounding follicular cells did not reduce the K^+ current, indicating that it arises across the oocyte membrane proper Activation of the K^+ conductance was first detected with depolarization to about -12 mV, increased with a limiting voltage sensitivity of 3 mV for an e-fold change in current, and was half-maximally activated at about + 10 mV The current rose following a single exponential time-course after depolarization, with a time constant that shortened from about 400 ms at -10 mV to about 15 ms at +80 mV During prolonged depolarization the current inactivated with a time constant of about 4 s, which did not alter greatly with potential. The K^- current was independent of Ca2+ as it was not altered by addition of 10 mM Mn2+ to the bathing medium, or by intracellular injection of EGTA. Noise analysis of K^+ current fluctuations indicated that the current is carried by channels with a unitary conductance of about 20 ps and a mean open lifetime of about 300 ms (at room temperature and potential of + 10 to + 20 mV).
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- January 1990