The kinetics of the membrane current during the anomalous or inward-going rectification of the K current in the egg cell membrane of the starfish Mediaster aequalis were analyzed by voltage clamp. The rectification has instantaneous and time-dependent components. The time-dependent increase in the K conductance for the negative voltage pulse as well as the decrease in the conductance for the positive pulse follows first-order kinetics. The steady-state conductance increases as the membrane potential becomes more negative and reaches the saturation value at about -40 mV more negative than the K equilibrium potential, V(K). The entire K conductance can be expressed by g(K).n; g g(K) represents the component for the time-independent conductance which depends on V-V(K) and [K+]o, and n is a dimensionless number (1 is greater than or equal to n is greater than or equal to 0) and determined by two rate constants which depend only on V-V(K). Cs+ does not carry any significant current through the K channel but blocks the channel at low concentration in the external medium. The blocking effect increases as the membrane potential is made more negative and the potential-dependent blocking by the external Cs+ also has instantaneous and time-dependent components.

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