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Histochem Cell Biol. 2012 Aug;138(2):231-41. doi: 10.1007/s00418-012-0961-0. Epub 2012 May 15.

Detection of caveolin-3/caveolin-1/P2X7R complexes in mice atrial cardiomyocytes in vivo and in vitro.

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Department of Anatomy, Medical Faculty, Institute of Anatomy, University of Technology Dresden, TU Dresden, Fetscherstr. 76, 01307 Dresden, Germany.


Caveolae and caveolins, structural components of caveolae, are associated with specific ion channels in cardiac myocytes. We have previously shown that P2X purinoceptor 7 (P2X7R), a ligand-gated ion channel, is increased in atrial cardiomyocytes of caveolin-1 knockout mice; however, the specific biochemical relationship of P2X7R with caveolins in the heart is not clear. The aim of this work was to study the presence of the P2X7R in atrial cardiomyocytes and its biochemical relationship to caveolin-1 and caveolin-3. Caveolin isoforms and P2X7R were predominantly localized in buoyant membrane fractions (lipid rafts/caveolae) prepared from hearts using detergent-free sucrose gradient centrifugation. Caveolin-1 knockout mice showed normal distribution of caveolin-3 and P2X7R to buoyant membranes indicating the importance of caveolin-3 to formation of caveolae. Using clear native-PAGE, we showed that caveolin-1, -3 and P2X7R contribute to the same protein complex in the membranes of murine cardiomyocytes and in the immortal cardiomyocyte cell line HL-1. Western blot analysis revealed increased caveolin-1 and -3 proteins in tissue homogenates of P2X7R knockout mice. Finally, tissue homogenates of atrial tissues from caveolin-3 knockout mice showed elevated mRNA for P2X7R in atria. The colocalization of caveolins with P2X7R in a biochemical complex and compensated upregulation of P2X7R or caveolins in the absence of any component of the complex suggests P2X7R and caveolins may serve an important regulatory control point for disease pathology in the heart.

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