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

Baculovirus expression provides direct evidence for heteromeric assembly of P2X2 and P2X3 receptors.

P2X2 and P2X3 are subunits of P2X receptors, cation channels opened by binding extracellular ATP. cDNAs encoding P2X2 and P2X3 receptor subunits, each with one of two C-terminal epitope tags, were cloned into baculovirus. Virally infected insect cells (Spodoptera frugiperda) expressed moderate to high levels of the corresponding proteins, as detected by Western blotting, by the specific binding of [35S]ATP and by whole-cell recordings of membrane current evoked by ATP or alphabetamethylene-ATP. In cells infected at the same time with two viruses encoding P2X2 and P2X3 receptors, the two proteins could be cross-immunoprecipitated with antibodies specific for either of the epitope tags. Whole-cell recordings from these cells showed that ATP and alphabetamethylene-ATP evoked currents with agonist sensitivity and desensitization quite distinct from those observed when P2X2 or P2X3 receptors were expressed alone. The results offer a method to express large amounts of P2X receptor protein, and they provide direct evidence that P2X2 and P2X3 subunits assemble to form heteromeric channels having distinct properties from those formed as homomers.[1]


  1. Baculovirus expression provides direct evidence for heteromeric assembly of P2X2 and P2X3 receptors. Radford, K.M., Virginio, C., Surprenant, A., North, R.A., Kawashima, E. J. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
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