Is ATP required for K+ channel activation in Vicia guard cells?

Wei Hua Wu, Sarah M. Assmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In vivo, K+ entry into guard cells via inward-rectifying K+ channels is indirectly driven by ATP via an H+-ATPase that hyperpolarizes the membrane potential. However, whether activation of the K+ channels of guard cells requires ATP remains unknown. In the present study, both whole-cell and single-channel patch-clamp techniques were used to address this question. Exogenous ATP, ADP, and adenosine-5′-O-(3-thiotriphosphate) applied to the cytoplasm had no effect on whole-cell K+ currents of Vicia faba L. guard cells. Azide, an inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation, also had no effect. However, an ATP-scavenging system, glucose plus hexokinase, inhibited whole-cell inward K+ currents by 30 to 40%. Single-channel results acquired from cytoplasm-free inside-out membrane patches showed definite activation of inward K+ channels by ATP. Other nucleotides, such as ADP, adenosine-5′-O-(3-thiotriphosphate), and GTP, did not increase channel activity in the membrane patches. Inward K+ channel activity in membrane patches preactivated by exogenous ATP was inhibited by glucose plus hexokinase. These results suggest that a low concentration of ATP is required for activation of the inward K+ channels of the guard-cell plasma membrane. The issue of how ATP as a signal regulates these K+ channels is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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