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J Biol Chem. 2003 Sep 26;278(39):37344-51. Epub 2003 Jul 17.

Tyrosine phosphorylation of HSP90 within the P2X7 receptor complex negatively regulates P2X7 receptors.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Physiology, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom.


The purinergic P2X7 receptor not only gates the opening of a cationic channel, but also couples to several downstream signaling events such as rapid membrane blebbing, microvesicle shedding, and interleukin-1beta release. Protein-protein interactions are likely to be involved in most of these signaling cascades; and recently, a P2X7 receptor-protein complex comprising at least 11 distinct proteins has been identified. We have studied one of these interacting proteins, HSP90, in human embryonic kidney cells expressing either human or rat P2X7 receptors as well as in rat peritoneal macrophages using biochemical (immunoprecipitation and Western blotting) and functional (membrane blebbing and currents) assays. We found that HSP90 was tyrosine-phosphorylated in association with the P2X7 receptor complex, but not in the cytosolic compartment. The HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin decreased tyrosine phosphorylation of HSP90 and produced a 2-fold increase in the sensitivity of P2X7 receptors to agonist. Protein expression and tyrosine phosphorylation of a mutant P2X7 receptor in which a tyrosine in the C-terminal domain was substituted with phenylalanine (Y550F) were not changed, but tyrosine phosphorylation of HSP90 associated with this mutant P2X7 receptor complex was significantly greater than that associated with the wild-type complex. P2X7-Y550F receptors showed a 15-fold lower sensitivity to agonist, which was reversed by geldanamycin. We conclude that selective tyrosine phosphorylation of P2X7 receptor-associated HSP90 may act as a negative regulator of P2X7 receptor complex formation and function.

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