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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

P2X receptor trafficking in neurons is subunit specific.

P2X receptors within the CNS mediate excitatory synaptic transmission and also act presynaptically to modulate neurotransmitter release. We have studied the targeting and trafficking of P2X4 and P2X2 receptors heterologously expressed in cultured olfactory bulb neurons. Homomeric P2X4 receptors had a punctate distribution, and many of the puncta colocalized with early endosomes. In contrast, P2X2 receptors were primarily localized at the plasma membrane. By antibody-labeling of surface receptors in living neurons, we showed that P2X4 receptors undergo rapid constitutive internalization and subsequent reinsertion into the plasma membrane, whereas P2X2 receptors were not regulated in such a way. The internalization of P2X4 receptors was dynamin-dependent, and the binding of ATP enhanced the basal rate of retrieval in a Ca2+-independent manner. The presence of the P2X4 subunit in a P2X4/6 heteromer governed the trafficking properties of the receptor. P2X receptors acted presynaptically to enhance the release of glutamate, suggesting that the regulated cycling of P2X4-containing receptors might provide a mechanism for modulation of synaptic transmission.[1]


  1. P2X receptor trafficking in neurons is subunit specific. Bobanovic, L.K., Royle, S.J., Murrell-Lagnado, R.D. J. Neurosci. (2002) [Pubmed]
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