The P2X7 receptor - Pannexin connection to dye uptake and IL-1β release

Pablo Pelegrin, Annmarie Surprenant

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is uniquely associated with two distinct cellular responses: activation of a dye-permeable pathway allowing passage of molecules up to 900 Da and rapid release of the pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), from activated macrophage. How this dye uptake path forms and whether it is involved in IL-1β release has not been known. Pannexin-1 is a recently identified protein found to physically associate with the P2X7R. Inhibition of pannexin-1 does not alter P2X7 R ion channel activation or associated calcium flux but blocks one component of P2X7R-induced dye uptake and unmasks a slower, previously undetected, dye uptake pathway. Inhibition of pannexin-1 blocks P2X7R-mediated IL-1η release from macrophage as well as release mediated by other stimuli which couple to activation of capase-1 and additionally inhibits the release of interleukin-1α, a member of the IL-1 family whose processing does not require caspase-1 activation. Thus, pannexin-1 is linked to both dye uptake and IL-1β release but via distinct mechanisms. © The Author(s) 2009.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-137
    Number of pages8
    JournalPurinergic Signalling
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Caspase-1
    • Dye uptake
    • Inflammasome
    • Inflammation
    • Macrophage


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