Mechanism of Ca2+-dependent selective rapid K+-transport induced by propranolol in red cells

Ilma Szász, B. Sarkadi, G. Gárdos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)


Passive Ca2+ influx is gradually enhanced by 0.5 to 5m m propranolol in fresh and phosphate ester-depleted human red cells. In fresh cells the active Ca2+ efflux tends to counteract Ca2+ uptake. Membrane hyperpolarization, induced by the K+ transport that accompanies Ca2+ uptake, further enhances the rate of Ca2 uptake. The dissociated, positively charged form of propranolol seems to be crucial in the increase of passive Ca2+ influx caused by the drug. The effect can be attributed to the release of structural Ca2+ from the membrane (lipids). The release of structural Ca2+ promotes the formation of the selectively K+-permeable membrane structure as well. The transitions of lipid structure responsible for the opening of the passive Ca2+ and K+ pathways, however, are not identical. The opening of the K+ pathways is prevented by certain highly lipid-soluble substances (chlorobutanol, heptanol, oligomycin, etc.), whereas the formation of the Ca2+ pathways is unaffected. Passive K+ transport is inhibited by high propranolol concentrations (more intensively at alkaline pH), whereas Ca2+ transport is promoted. A further difference between the passive K+ and Ca2+ pathways is that SH-proteins also seem to be involved in the formation of the K+ pathways, whereas they do not play a specific role in the opening of the passive Ca2+ channels. The additional Ca2+ binding that triggers the formation of the K+ pathways also seems to occur in the protein area of the inner membrane surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-93
Number of pages19
JournalThe Journal of Membrane Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanism of Ca<sup>2+</sup>-dependent selective rapid K<sup>+</sup>-transport induced by propranolol in red cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this