An approach to the study of intracellular proteins related to the excitability of the squid giant axon. Academic Article uri icon


  • The technique for covalently labeling proteins with 125I-labelled Bolton-Hunter reagent was used to determine the quantities of proteins released from the axoplasmic side of the squid axon membrane. The reagent could be introduced into the interior of the axon by the technique of intracellular perfusion, the radioiodination reaction being carried out in situ. Alternatively, the reaction could be carried out in vitro, i.e., by mixing the reagent with samples of proteins dissolved in the intracellular perfusion fluid collected from the axon. This technique was found to be sensitive enough to permit analysis of a large number of protein samples collected from a single axon. By the method of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, it was found that proteins of approx. 56 000 daltons were released into the perfusate when a solution of potassium chloride or potassium bromide was introduced into the interior of an axon. Suppression of axonal excitability was associated with this release of proteins. The significance of these findings in relation to the structure and function of the axon is discussed.

publication date

  • February 1, 1978