Six mutants of SLO-1, a large-conductance, Ca2+-activated K+ channel of C. elegans, were obtained in a genetic screen for regulators of neurotransmitter release. Mutants were isolated by their ability to suppress lethargy of an unc-64 syntaxin mutant that restricts neurotransmitter release. We measured evoked postsynaptic currents at the neuromuscular junction in both wild-type and mutants and observed that the removal of SLO-1 greatly increased quantal content primarily by increasing duration of release. The selective isolation of slo-1 as the only ion channel mutant derived from a whole genomic screen to detect regulators of neurotransmitter release suggests that SLO-1 plays an important, if not unique, role in regulating neurotransmitter release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-881
Number of pages15
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 6 2001


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