The P2X7 receptor mediates extracellular-ATP signaling implicated in the development of devastating diseases such as chronic pain and cancer. Activation of the P2X7 receptor leads to opening of the characteristic dye-permeable membrane pore for molecules up to ~900 Da. However, it remains controversial what constitutes this peculiar pore and how it opens. Here we show that the panda P2X7 receptor, when purified and reconstituted into liposomes, forms an intrinsic dye-permeable pore in the absence of other cellular components. Unexpectedly, we found that this pore opens independent of its unique C-terminal domain. We also found that P2X7 channel activity is facilitated by phosphatidylglycerol and sphingomyelin, but dominantly inhibited by cholesterol through direct interactions with the transmembrane domain. In combination with cell-based functional studies, our data suggest that the P2X7 receptor itself constitutes a lipid-composition dependent dye-permeable pore, whose opening is facilitated by palmitoylated cysteines near the pore-lining helix.
- Toshimitsu Kawate
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Kenton J Swartz, National Institutes of Health, United States
© 2017, Karasawa et al.
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