ATP dependence of the non-specific ion channel in Torpedo synaptic vesicles

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Synaptic vesicles of Torpedo electromotor neurons contain a high amount of ATP. The concentration of total ATP is around 120 mM, whereas the free [ATP] is about 5–6 mM. We examined the effect of intravesicular ATP on the non-specific ion channel in Torpedo-fused synaptic vesicles. It was found that this channel is closed when the ATP concentration is above 2 mM, but it is very frequently open at lower ATP concentrations. Unmasking this ion channel at a low ATP concentration may be significant for post-fusion control of transmitter release by the ‘kiss and run’ mechanism in normal conditions, while during metabolic stress it may underlie dissipation of important gradients across the vesicle membrane.

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