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Nörenberg, Wolfgang; Plötz, Tanja; Sobottka, Helga; Chubanov, Vladimir; Mittermeier, Lorenz; Kalwa, Hermann; Aigner, Achim; Schaefer, Michael (2016): TRPM7 is a molecular substrate of ATP-evoked P2X7-like currents in tumor cells. In: Journal of General Physiology, Vol. 147, Nr. 6: S. 467-483
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Abstract

Within the ion channel-coupled purine receptor (P2X) family, P2X7 has gained particular interest because of its role in immune responses and in the growth control of several malignancies. Typical hallmarks of P2X7 are nonselective and noninactivating cation currents that are elicited by high concentrations (0.1-10 mM) of extracellular ATP. Here, we observe spurious ATP-induced currents in HEK293 cells that neither express P2X7 nor display ATP-induced Ca2+ influx or Yo-Pro-1 uptake. Although the biophysical properties of these ionic currents resemble those of P2X7 in terms of their reversal potential close to 0 mV, nonrectifying current-voltage relationship, current run-up during repeated ATP application, and augmentation in bath solutions containing low divalent cation (DIC) concentrations, they are poorly inhibited by established P2X7 antagonists. Because high ATP concentrations reduce the availability of DICs, these findings prompted us to ask whether other channel entities may become activated by our experimental regimen. Indeed, a bath solution with no added DICs yields similar currents and also a rapidly inactivating Na+-selective conductance. We provide evidence that TRPM7 and ASIC1a (acid-sensing ion channel type Ia)-like channels account for these noninactivating and phasic current components, respectively. Furthermore, we find ATP-induced currents in rat C6 glioma cells, which lack functional P2X receptors but express TRPM7. Thus, the observation of an atypical P2X7-like conductance may be caused by the activation of TRPM7 by ATP, which scavenges free DICs and thereby releases TRPM7 from permeation block. Because TRPM7 has a critical role in controlling the intracellular Mg2+ homeostasis and regulating tumor growth, these data imply that the proposed role of P2X7 in C6 glioma cell proliferation deserves reevaluation.