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Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2009 Aug;297(2):C430-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00079.2009. Epub 2009 Jun 3.

Extracellular ATP dissociates nonmuscle myosin from P2X(7) complex: this dissociation regulates P2X(7) pore formation.

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Department of Medicine, Nepean Clinical School, Penrith, NSW, Australia.


The P2X(7) receptor is a ligand-gated cation channel that is highly expressed on monocyte-macrophages and that mediates the pro-inflammatory effects of extracellular ATP. Dilation of the P2X(7) channel and massive K(+) efflux follows initial channel opening, but the mechanism of secondary pore formation is unclear. The proteins associated with P2X(7) were isolated by using anti-P2X(7) monoclonal antibody-coated Dynabeads from both interferon-gamma plus LPS-stimulated monocytic THP-1 cells and P2X(7)-transfected HEK-293 cells. Two nonmuscle myosins, NMMHC-IIA and myosin Va, were found to associate with P2X(7) in THP-1 cells and HEK-293 cells, respectively. Activation of the P2X(7) receptor by ATP caused dissociation of P2X(7) from nonmuscle myosin in both cell types. The interaction of P2X(7) and NMMHC-IIA molecules was confirmed by fluorescent life time measurements and fluorescent resonance of energy transfer-based time-resolved flow cytometry assay. Reducing the expression of NMMHC-IIA or myosin Va by small interfering RNA or short hairpin RNA led to a significant increase of P2X(7) pore function without any increase in surface expression or ion channel function of P2X(7) receptors. S-l-blebbistatin, a specific inhibitor of NMMHC-IIA ATPase, inhibited both ATP-induced ethidium uptake and ATP-induced dissociation of P2X(7)-NMMHC-IIA complex. In both cell types nonmuscle myosin closely interacts with P2X(7) and is dissociated from the complex by extracellular ATP. Dissociation of this anchoring protein may be required for the transition of P2X(7) channel to a pore.

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