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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RecA protein mediates homologous recombination repair in bacteria through assembly of long helical filaments on ssDNA in an ATP-dependent manner. RecX, an important negative regulator of RecA, is known to inhibit RecA activity by stimulating the disassembly of RecA nucleoprotein filaments. Here we use a single-molecule approach to address the regulation of (Escherichia coli) RecA-ssDNA filaments by RecX (E. coli) within the framework of distinct conformational states of RecA-ssDNA filament. Our findings revealed that RecX effectively binds the inactive conformation of RecA-ssDNA filaments and slows down the transition to the active state. Results of this work provide new mechanistic insights into the RecX-RecA interactions and highlight the importance of conformational transitions of RecA filaments as an additional level of regulation of its biological activity.
Human adult muscle-type acetylcholine receptors are heteropentameric ion channels formed from two α-subunits, and one each of the β-, d-, and e-subunits. To form functional channels, the subunits must assemble with one another in a precise stoichiometry and arrangement. Despite being different, the four subunits share a common ancestor that is presumed to have formed homopentamers. The extent to which the properties of the modern-day receptor result from its subunit complexity is unknown. Here we discover that a reconstructed ancestral muscle-type β-subunit can form homopentameric ion channels. These homopentamers open spontaneously and display single-channel hallmarks of muscle-type acetylcholine receptor activity. Our findings attest to the homopentameric origin of the muscle-type acetylcholine receptor, and demonstrate that signature features of its function are both independent of agonist and do not necessitate the complex heteropentameric architecture of the modern-day protein.