Purification and functional characterization of a truncated human α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

N Kouvatsos, A Niarchos, P Zisimopoulou, E Eliopoulos, K Poulas, S Tzartos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are abundant in the brain and are essential in cognitive function, learning and memory. Previous efforts on α4β2 nAChR had been focused on functional and pharmacological characterization, where high expression yield is not essential. For structural studies though, large amounts of pure protein is important but heterologous overexpression of membrane proteins can be a burdensome task, especially if high amounts are required. In the current study, a truncated mutant of the human α4β2 nAChR was designed in order to improve expression and solubility and to obtain material suitable for high resolution structural studies. We showed that the wild type α4β2 nAChR presented low expression and solubilization yield both of which were improved with the truncated construct. The truncated nAChR showed similar binding profile to the wild type, was purified by a two-step chromatography and isolated in high purity and adequate quantity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Early online date8 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • α4β2 nAChR
  • ion channel receptor
  • membrane protein
  • protein engineering
  • Baculovirus expression system


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