The kinetics of the increase in conductance in the outer mitochondrial membrane induced by patch-clamping at various negative potentials (pipette inside negative) are reported. The changes are biphasic, a rapid increase is followed by a slowly developing larger change. The results can be predicted by a model in which an initial activation of channels is followed by their assembly into highly conducting channels. The model suggests that five to seven activated subunits form each high-conductance channel.
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