The ability of glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, the creatine kinase system, and exogenous ATP to suppress ATP-sensitive K+ channels and prevent cell shortening were compared in patch-clamped single guinea pig ventricular myocytes. In cell-attached patches on myocytes permeabilized at one end with saponin, ATP-sensitive K+ channels were activated by removing ATP from the bath, and could be closed equally well by exogenous ATP or substrates for endogenous ATP production by glycolysis (with the mitochondrial inhibitor FCCP present), mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, or the creatine kinase system. In the presence of an exogenous ATP-consuming system, however, glycolytic substrates (with FCCP present) were superior to substrates for either oxidative phosphorylation or the creatine kinase system at suppressing ATP-sensitive K+ channels. All three groups of substrates were equally effective at preventing cell shortening. In 6 of 38 excised inside-out membrane patches, ATP-sensitive K+ channels activated by removing ATP from the bath were suppressed by a complete set of substrates for the ATP-producing steps of glycolysis but not by individual glycolytic substrates, which is consistent with the presence of key glycolytic enzymes located near the channels in these patches. Under whole-cell voltage-clamp conditions, inclusion of 15 mM ATP in the patch electrode solution dialyzing the interior of the cell did not prevent activation of the ATP-sensitive K+ current under control conditions or during exposure to complete metabolic inhibition. In isolated arterially perfused rabbit interventricular septa, selective inhibition of glycolysis caused an immediate increase in 42K+ efflux rate, which was prevented by 100 microM glyburide, a known blocker of ATP-sensitive K+ channels. These observations suggest that key glycolytic enzymes are associated with cardiac. ATP-sensitive K+ channels and under conditions in which intracellular competition for ATP is high (e.g., in beating heart) that act as a preferential source of ATP for these channels.

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