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reverse patchclamp?

Jannie Hofmeyr jhsh at maties.sun.ac.za
Thu May 5 02:51:38 EST 1994

Morgana asks:

> Can patchclamping be used to _introduce_ molecules into a cell? (Sorry,
> I'm not a scientist,just curious). Could it be used to gently inject some
> choice molecules into the cell to see what the regulatory response is?
> Biochem texts always have lots of problems like "what would happen if the
> amount of DHAP went up by ten times?" Well, what _would_ happen? Could
> you use patchclamping to find out without bashing a cell? Morgan

I am not too sure about this use of pathclamping, but if by some means one 
could infuse DHAP into a cell to hike up the internal concentration by a 
factor of ten **and then left the cell to its own devices**, the answer would
be that on balance nothing would probably happen. DHAP is an intermediate, 
a metabolic variable; its steady-state concentration is dependent on the 
values of all the metabolic parameters and as long as the parameters remain 
the same the long term behaviour of the system is to return to the same 
steady state. Certainly the system will be pushed into a transient phase, but
the final state would be the same as the original state.


Jannie Hofmeyr                    InterNet e-mail: jhsh at maties.sun.ac.za
Dept. of Biochemistry                   Telephone: +27 21 8083039
University of Stellenbosch                    Fax: +27 21 8083022
Stellenbosch 7600
South Africa

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