(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Sodium channel kinetics of the gastropod Strombus luhuanus
Student Author(s): Lange, Jane
Faculty Advisor(s): Gilly, William
Location: Final Papers Biology 176H
Date: June 2001
Abstract: This paper examines kinetic properties of Na+ channels in Strombus luhanus, a gastropod notable for its rapid backward jumping escape response. Previous comparative studies on cephalopod and gastropod Na+ channels indicate that taxonomic differences exist in the voltage-dependencies of activation and inactivation: cephalopod channels are fast across a broad range of voltages, whereas gastropod channels are much slower at negative voltages than they are at very positive voltages. The voltage-independence of cephalopod Na+ channel kinetics is hypothesized to be important in mediating fast escape and swimming behavior. Analysis of kinetic parameters of Strombus sodium currents was performed in order to ascertain whether the voltage-dependence of their activation and inactivation rates deviate from those of slower gastropods and resemble those of cephalopods. It was found that as in cephalopods, activation rates in Strombus Na+ channels display little voltage-dependence. Similar to other gastropods, however, inactivation rates in Strombus Na+ channels are quite voltage-dependent.