High Resolution Scanning Patch-Clamp: New Insight into Cell Function

Yuchun Gu, J Gorelik, HA Spohr, A Shevchuk, MJ Lab, Shamem Harding, I Vodyanoy, D Klenerman, YE Korchev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)


Cell specialization is often governed by the spatial distribution of ion channels and receptors on the cell surface. So far, little is known about functional ion channel localization. This is due to a lack of satisfactory methods for investigating ion channels in an intact cell and simultaneously determining the channels' positions accurately. We have developed a novel high-resolution scanning patch-clamp technique that enables the study of ion channels, not only in small cells, such as sperm, but in submicrometer cellular structures, such as epithelial microvilli, fine neuronal dendrites, and, particularly, T-tubule openings of cardiac myocytes. In cardiac myocytes, as in most excitable cells, action potential propagation depends essentially on the properties of ion channels that are functionally and spatially coupled. We found that the L-type calcium and chloride channels are distributed and colocalized in the region of T-tubule openings, but not in other regions of the myocyte. In addition, chloride channels were found in narrowly defined regions of Z-grooves. This finding suggests a new synergism between these types of channels that may be relevant for action potential propagation along the T-tubule system and excitation-contraction coupling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)748-750
Number of pages3
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2002


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