Activation kinetics of single P2X receptors

Purinergic Signal. 2007 Sep;3(4):249-53. doi: 10.1007/s11302-007-9070-2. Epub 2007 Sep 12.


After the primary structure of P2X receptors had been identified, their function had to be characterized on the molecular level. Since these ligand-gated ion channels become activated very quickly after binding of ATP, methods with adequate time resolution have to be applied to investigate the early events induced by the agonist. Single-channel recordings were performed to describe conformational changes on P2X(2), P2X(4), and P2X(7) receptors induced by ATP and also by allosteric receptor modifiers. The main results of these studies and the models of P2X receptor kinetics derived from these observations are reviewed here. The investigation of purinoceptors by means of the patch clamp technique following site-directed mutagenesis will probably reveal more details of P2X receptor function at the molecular level.