Monazomycin-induced single channels. I. Characterization of the elementary conductance events
Monazomycin (a positively charged, polyene-like antibiotic) induces voltage-dependent conductance changes in lipid bilayer membranes when added to one of the bathing solutions. These conductance changes have generally been attributed to the existence of channels spanning the membrane. In this article we characterize the behavior of the individual conductance events observed when adding small amounts of monazomycin to one side of a lipid bilayer. We find that there are several apparent channel types with one or sometimes two amplitudes predominating. We find further that these fairly similar amplitudes represent two different states of the same fundamental channel entity, presumed to be the monazomycin channel. The current-voltage characteristics of these channels are weakly hyperbolic functions of applied potential. The average lifetimes are essentially voltage independent (between 50 and 400 mV). The average channel intervals, on the other hand, can be strongly voltage dependent, and we can show that the time-averaged conductance of a membrane is proportional to the average channel frequency.