NYMC Faculty Publications

Differential Activation of Mouse and Human Panx1 Channel Variants

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PloS One

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Cell Biology and Anatomy


Pannexins are ubiquitously expressed in human and mouse tissues. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), the most thoroughly characterized member of this family, forms plasmalemmal membrane channels permeable to relatively large molecules, such as ATP. Although human and mouse Panx1 amino acid sequences are conserved in the presently known regulatory sites involved in trafficking and modulation of the channel, differences are reported in the N- and C-termini of the protein, and the mechanisms of channel activation by different stimuli remain controversial. Here we used a neuroblastoma cell line to study the activation properties of endogenous mPanx1 and exogenously expressed hPanx1. Dye uptake and electrophysiological recordings revealed that in contrast to mouse Panx1, the human ortholog is insensitive to stimulation with high extracellular [K+] but responds similarly to activation of the purinergic P2X7 receptor. The two most frequent Panx1 polymorphisms found in the human population, Q5H (rs1138800) and E390D (rs74549886), exogenously expressed in Panx1-null N2a cells revealed that regarding P2X7 receptor mediated Panx1 activation, the Q5H mutant is a gain of function whereas the E390D mutant is a loss of function variant. Collectively, we demonstrate differences in the activation between human and mouse Panx1 orthologs and suggest that these differences may have translational implications for studies where Panx1 has been shown to have significant impact.