Zn2+ blocks the voltage activated calcium current of Aplysia neurons

D. Büsselberg, M. L. Evans, H. Rahmann, D. O. Carpenter

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We have investigated the effect of Zn2+ on voltage-activated calcium currents of Aplysia neurons, using conventional two-electrode voltage-clamp techniques. The peak of these currents was reversibly reduced by Zn2+ (50% reduction at 3.75 mM; total block at 20 mM), while the current-voltage relation and the activation and inactivation curves were shifted to depolarized voltages. The effects of Zn2+ were concentration-dependent. The Hill coefficient was 1.62. The high concentrations required, the shift of the current-voltage relation and the effects on activation and inactivation are best explained by a charge-screening effect combined with a specific binding site for Zn2+ near the entrance of the channel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 1990



  • Calcium current
  • Fixed charge site
  • Voltage clamp
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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