Levamisole resistance resolved at the single-channel level in Caenorhabditis elegans.
ABSTRACT Sydney Brenner promoted Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism, and subsequent investigations pursued resistance to the nicotinic anthelmintic drug levamisole in C. elegans at a genetic level. These studies have advanced our understanding of genes associated with neuromuscular transmission and resistance to the antinematodal drug. In lev-8 and lev-1 mutant C. elegans, levamisole resistance is associated with reductions in levamisole-activated whole muscle cell currents. Although lev-8 and lev-1 are known to code for nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits, an explanation for why these currents get smaller is not available. In wild-type adults, nAChRs aggregate at neuromuscular junctions and are not accessible for single-channel recording. Here we describe a use of LEV-10 knockouts, in which aggregation is lost, to make in situ recordings of nAChR channel currents. Our observations provide an explanation for levamisole resistance produced by LEV-8 and LEV-1 mutants at the single-channel level.
Article: Levamisole-activated single-channel currents from muscle of the nematode parasite Ascaris suum.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: 1. The patch-clamp technique was used to examine levamisole-activated channels in muscle vesicles from Ascaris suum. Cell-attached and isolated inside-out patches were used. 2. Levamisole (1-90 microM), applied to the extracellular surface, activated channels which had apparent mean open-times in the range 0.80-2.85 ms and linear I/V relationships with conductances in the range 19-46 pS. Ion-replacement experiments showed the channels to be cation selective. 3. The kinetics of the channels were analysed. Generally open- and closed-time distributions were best fitted by two, and three exponentials respectively, indicating the presence of at least two open states and at least three closed states. The distributions of burst-times were best-fitted by two exponentials. 4. Channel open- and burst-times were voltage-sensitive: at low levamisole concentrations (1-10 microM), they increased with hyperpolarization. At higher concentrations of levamisole (30 microM and 90 microM) flickering channel-block was observed at hyperpolarized potentials. Using a simple channel-block model, values for the blocking dissociation constant, KB were determined as 123 microM at -50 mV, 46 microM at -75 mV and 9.4 microM at -100 mV. 5. At the higher concentration of levamisole (30 microM and 90 microM) long closed-times separating 'clusters' of bursts were observed, at both hyperpolarized and depolarized membrane potentials and this was interpreted as desensitization.British Journal of Pharmacology 02/1993; 108(1):170-8. · 4.41 Impact Factor