- The effects of the cholinergic agonist carbachol (Cch) and guanine nucleotides on the Na,K-ATPase and K-dependent p-nitrophenylphosphatase (K-p-NPPase) activities in rabbit and dog myocardial sarcolemma vesicles in the presence of the pore-forming antibiotic alamethicin (20 micrograms/ml), was studied. Cch (0.01-100 microM) inhibited the both enzymatic activities by 40-45% (IC50 = 0.3-0.5 microM) only after addition of GTP (50 microM) or its analogs: GTP gamma S (0.1-1.0 microM) and Gpp(NH)p (10 microM). The muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAchR) antagonist atropine (10 microM) blocked the effect of Cch. GTP gamma S alone produced a concentration-dependent decrease in the both Na,K-ATPase and K-p-NPPase activities by 40-45% (IC50 = 1-2 microM) with a lag period of about 3 minutes; this lag disappeared in the presence of the agonist. The GDP analog GDP beta S (0.01-100 microM) neither affected these activities nor promoted the inhibiting effect of Cch. Pretreatment of sarcolemmal vesicles with 20 micrograms/ml of pertussis toxin in the presence of 100 microM NAD abolished the inhibiting effect of Cch on the Na,K-ATPase and phosphatase activities. Under these conditions pertussis toxin catalyzed the ADP-ribosylation of alpha-subunits of the inhibitory GTP-binding protein (G1) which were identified immunochemically as alpha i2, alpha i3 and, possibly, alpha i1. The data obtained testify to the involvement of G1 in the mAchR-mediated inhibition of myocardial sarcolemmal Na,K-ATPase as well as in the signal transduction from the receptor to the enzyme.