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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Recent pharmacological studies have proposed there is a high degree of similarity between calcium-activated Cl(-) channels (CaCCs) and large conductance, calcium-gated K(+) channels (K(Ca)1.1). The goal of the present study was to ascertain whether blockers of K(Ca)1.1 inhibited calcium-activated Cl(-) currents (I(ClCa)) and if the pharmacological overlap between K(Ca)1.1 and CaCCs extends to intermediate and small conductance, calcium-activated K(+) channels. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACHES: Whole-cell Cl(-) and K(+) currents were recorded from murine portal vein myocytes using the whole-cell variant of the patch clamp technique. CaCC currents were evoked by pipette solutions containing 500 nM free [Ca(2+)]. KEY RESULTS: The selective K(Ca)1.1 blocker paxilline (1 microM) inhibited I(ClCa) by approximately 90%, whereas penitrem A (1 microM) and iberiotoxin (100 and 300 nM) reduced the amplitude of I(ClCa) by approximately 20%, as well as slowing channel deactivation. Paxilline also abolished the stimulatory effect of niflumic acid on the CaCC. In contrast, an antibody against the Ca(2+)-binding domain of murine K(Ca)1.1 had no effect on I(ClCa) while inhibiting spontaneous K(Ca)1.1 currents. Structurally different modulators of small and intermediate conductance calcium-activated K(+) channels (K(Ca)2.1 and K(Ca)2.3), namely 1-EBIO, (100 microM); NS309, (1 microM); TRAM-34, (10 microM); UCL 1684, (1 microM) had no effect on I(ClCa). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: These data show that the selective K(Ca)1.1 blockers also reduce I(ClCa) considerably. However, the pharmacological overlap that exists between CaCCs and K(Ca)1.1 does not extend to the calcium-binding domain or to other calcium-gated K(+) channels.

Original publication




Journal article


Br j pharmacol

Publication Date





521 - 531


Animals, Chloride Channels, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Indoles, Intermediate-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels, Large-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mycotoxins, Myocytes, Smooth Muscle, Patch-Clamp Techniques, Peptides, Portal Vein, Potassium Channel Blockers, Small-Conductance Calcium-Activated Potassium Channels