Paramecium calcium channels are blocked by a family of calmodulin antagonists

B. E. Ehrlich, A. R. Jacobson, R. Hinrichsen, L. M. Sayre, M. A. Forte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Although the voltage-sensitive Ca channel present in Paramecium has been subjected to detailed physiological and genetic analysis, no organic ligands have been described that block this channel with high affinity and that ultimately can be used to identify channel components. Based on a previous observation that the naphthalene sulfonamide calmodulin antagonist W-7 can block Paramecium Ca channels at high concentrations, we have synthesized analogs of W-7 that block these channels at concentrations of < 1 μM. The effectiveness of these compounds was tested both by a sensitive behavioral assay and on Ca channels that had been incorporated into planar lipid bilayers. Despite the fact that these compounds are effective Paramecium calmodulin antagonists, two independent lines of evidence suggest that W-7 and its analogs block the Ca channel by a mechanism that is independent of their action on calmodulin. In addition, the sensitivity of W-7 or dihydropyridines of Ca channels present in a number of eukaryotic phyla has been used to identify similarities in Ca channels from widely diverse organisms. It appears that the pharmacological specificity provides a means to group Ca channels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5718-5722
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Paramecium calcium channels are blocked by a family of calmodulin antagonists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this