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0 Q&A 10973 Views Sep 5, 2017
The P2X7 receptor is an extracellular ATP-gated ion channel found only in eukaryotes (Bartlett et al., 2014). Due to its unique properties among P2X receptors, such as formation of a large conductance pore, the P2X7 receptor has been implicated in devastating diseases like chronic pain (North and Jarvis, 2013). However, mechanisms underlying the P2X7 specific properties remain poorly understood, partly because purification of this eukaryotic membrane protein has been challenging. Here we describe a detailed protocol for expressing and purifying a mammalian P2X7 receptor using an insect cell-baculovirus system. The P2X7 receptor is expressed in Sf9 insect cells as a GFP fusion protein and solubilized with a buffer containing Triton X-100 detergent. The P2X7-GFP fusion protein is then purified in a buffer containing dodecyl maltoside using Strep-Tactin affinity chromatography. Following enzymatic cleavage of the attached GFP and Strep-tag by thrombin, the P2X7 receptor is isolated using size exclusion chromatography. This method typically yields ~2 mg of purified protein from 6 L of Sf9 culture. Purified protein can be stored in a buffer containing 15% glycerol at 4 °C for at least 2 months and used for a variety of functional and structural studies (Karasawa and Kawate, 2016).

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