- Acetylcholine (ACH) produced specific inhibition of Na, K-ATP-ase activity in sarcolemmic preparations of the frog heart (K0.5 = 1 microM), dog atria (K0,5 = 5 microM) and ventricles (K0.5 = 1 microM), and dog small intestinal smooth muscles (K0,5 = 0.5 microM). K0.5 is the concentration causing a half-maximal effect. Atropine (10(-7) = 10(-6) M) blocked the inhibitory effect of ACH. The preparations contained a considerable number of 3H-quinuclidinyl benzilate (3H-QNB) binding sites. Treatment of atrial sarcolemma with a mixture of digitonin and sodium cholate resulted in a substantial decrease in the number of 3H-QNB binding sites in the membrane, while Na,K-ATPase lost responsiveness to ACH. In the presence of 10 microM GTP there was a noticeable decrease in sensitivity of the enzyme to ACH. It is assumed that inhibition of Na, K-ATPase activity by acetylcholine is mediated by muscarinic receptor activation with the involvement in this process of GTP-binding proteins.