We have examined the effects of cocaine on the SR Ca2+ release channel purified from canine cardiac muscle. Cocaine induced a flicker block of the channel from the cytoplasmic side, which resulted in an apparent reduction in the single-channel current amplitude without a marked reduction in the single-channel open probability. This block was evident only at positive holding potentials. Analysis of the block revealed that cocaine binds to a single site with an effective valence of 0.93 and an apparent dissociation constant at 0 mV (K(d)(0)) of 38 mM. The kinetics of cocaine block were analyzed by amplitude distribution analysis and showed that the voltage and concentration dependence lay exclusively in the blocking reaction, whereas the unblocking reaction was independent of both voltage and concentration. Modification of the channel by ryanodine dramatically attenuated the voltage and concentration dependence of the on rates of cocaine block while diminishing the off rates to a lesser extent. In addition, ryanodine modification changed the effective valence of cocaine block to 0.52 and the K(d)(0) to 110 mM, suggesting that modification of the channel results in an alteration in the binding site and its affinity for cocaine. These results suggest that cocaine block of the SR Ca2+ release channel is due to the binding at a single site within the channel pore and that modification of the channel by ryanodine leads to profound changes in the kinetics of cocaine block.
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