Pannexin membrane channels are mechanosensitive conduits for ATP

FEBS Lett. 2004 Aug 13;572(1-3):65-8. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2004.07.009.


Intercellular calcium wave propagation initiated by mechanical stress is a phenomenon found in nearly all cell types. The waves utilize two pathways: transfer of InsP3 directly from cell to cell through gap junction channels and release of ATP onto extracellular purinergic receptors. The conduit for ATP has remained elusive and both a vesicular and a channel mediated release have been considered. Here, we describe the properties of single pannexin 1 channels. They have a wide expression spectrum, they are of large conductance and permeant for ATP, and they are mechanosensitive. Hence, pannexins are candidates for the release of ATP to the extracellular space upon mechanical stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gap Junctions / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Transfection
  • Xenopus


  • Ion Channels
  • Recombinant Proteins