Dual effect of acid pH on purinergic P2X3 receptors depends on the histidine 206 residue

Zoltan Gerevich, Zoltan S. Zadori, Laszlo Köles, Laurenz Kopp, Doreen Milius, Kerstin Wirkner, Klara Gyires, Peter Illes

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Whole cell patch clamp investigations were carried out to clarify the pH sensitivity of native and recombinant P2X3 receptors. In HEK293 cells permanently transfected with human (h) P2X3 receptors (HEK293-hP2X3 cells), an acidic pH shifted the concentration-response curve for α,β-methylene ATP (α,β-meATP) to the right and increased its maximum. An alkalic pH did not alter the effect of α,β-meATP. Further, a low pH value increased the activation time constant (τon) of the α,β-meATP current; the fast and slow time constants of desensitization (τdes1, τdes2) were at the same time also increased. Finally, acidification accelerated the recovery of P2X3 receptors from the desensitized state. Replacement of histidine 206, but not histidine 45, by alanine abolished the pH-induced effects on hP2X3 receptors transiently expressed in HEK293 cells. Changes in the intracellular pH had no effect on the amplitude or time course of the α,β-meATP currents. The voltage sensitivity and reversal potential of the currents activated by α,β-meATP were unaffected by extracellular acidification. Similar effects were observed in a subpopulation of rat dorsal root ganglion neurons expressing homomeric P2X3 receptor channels. It is suggested that acidification may have a dual effect on P2X3 channels, by decreasing the current amplitude at low agonist concentrations (because of a decrease in the rate of activation) and increasing it at high concentrations (because of a decrease in the rate of desensitization). Thereby, a differential regulation of pain sensation during e.g. inflammation may occur at the C fiber terminals of small DRG neurons in peripheral tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33949-33957
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - nov. 23 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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