The ion currents induced by alamethicin were investigated in unilamellar vesicles using electron paramagnetic resonance probe techniques. The peptide induced currents were examined as a function of the membrane bound peptide concentration, and as a function of the transmembrane electrical potential. Because of the favorable partitioning of alamethicin to membranes and the large membrane area to aqueous volume in vesicle suspensions, these measurements could be carried out under conditions where all the alamethicin was membrane bound. Over the concentration range examined, the peptide induced conductances increased approximately with the fourth power of the membrane bound peptide concentration, indicating a channel molecularity of four. When the alamethicin induced currents were examined as a function of voltage, they exhibited a superlinear behavior similar to that seen in planar bilayers. Evidence for the voltage-dependent conduction of alamethicin was also observed in the time dependence of vesicle depolarization. These observations indicate that the voltage-dependent behavior of alamethicin can occur in the absence of a voltage-dependent phase partitioning. That is, a voltage-dependent conformational rearrangement for membrane bound alamethicin leads to a voltage-dependent activity. © 1991, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.
Archer, S. J., & Cafiso, D. S. (1991). Voltage-dependent conductance for alamethicin in phospholipid vesicles. A test for the mechanism of gating. Biophysical Journal, 60(2), 380–388. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(91)82063-X