C Terminus of the P2X7 Receptor: Treasure Hunting

Purinergic Signal. 2011 Mar;7(1):7-19. doi: 10.1007/s11302-011-9215-1. Epub 2011 Jan 27.


P2X receptor (P2XR) is a family of the ATP-gated ion channel family and can permeabilize the plasma membrane to small cations such as potassium, sodium, and calcium, resulting in cellular depolarization. There are seven P2XR that have been described and cloned, with 45% identity in amino acid sequence. Each P2X receptors has two transmembrane domains that are separated by an extracellular loop and an intracellular N and C terminus. Unlike the other P2X receptors, the P2X7R has a larger C terminus with an extra 200 amino acid residues compared with the other receptors. The C terminus of the P2X7R has been implicated in regulating receptor function including signaling pathway activation, cellular localization, protein-protein interactions, and post-translational modification (PTM). In the present review, we discuss the role of the P2X7R C terminus in regards to receptor function, describe the specific domains and motifs found therein and compare the C terminus sequence with others proteins to discover predicted domains or sites of PTM.