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Nat Neurosci. 1999 Apr;2(4):322-30.

Neuronal P2X transmitter-gated cation channels change their ion selectivity in seconds.

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Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125, USA.


Fast synaptic transmission depends on the selective ionic permeability of transmitter-gated ion channels. Here we show changes in the ion selectivity of neuronal P2X transmitter-gated cation channels as a function of time (on the order of seconds) and previous ATP exposure. Heterologously expressed P2X2, P2X2/P2X3 and P2X4 channels as well as native neuronal P2X channels possess various combinations of mono- or biphasic responses and permeability changes, measured by NMDG+ and fluorescent dye. Furthermore, in P2X4 receptors, this ability to alter ion selectivity can be increased or decreased by altering an amino-acid residue thought to line the ion permeation pathway, identifying a region that governs this activity-dependent change.

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