The potassium flux ratio across the axolemma of internally perfused, voltage-clamped giant axons of Loligo pealei has been evaluated at various membrane potentials and internal potassium concentrations ([K]i). Four different methods were used: (a) independent measurement of one-way influx and efflux of 42K; (b) simultaneous measurement of net K current (IK) and 42K influx; (c) simultaneous measurement of IK and 42K efflux; and (d) measurement of potassium conductance and 42K influx at the potassium equilibrium potential. The reliability of each of these methods is discussed. The average value of the exponent n' in the Hodgkin-Keynes equation ranged from 1.5 at -4mV and 200 mM [K]i to 3.3 at -38 mV and 350 mM [K]i and appeared to be a function of membrane potential and possibly of [K]i. It is concluded that the potassium channel of squid giant axon is a multi-ion, single-file pore with three or more sites.

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