PubMed 19368825

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Kv2.1

Title: Investigating the role of protein folding and assembly in cell-type dependent expression of alpha7 nicotinic receptors using a green fluorescent protein chimera.

Authors: H K Lee, L Gwalani, V Mishra, P Anandjiwala, F Sala, S Sala, J J Ballesta, D O'Malley, M Criado, R H Loring

Journal, date & volume: Brain Res., 2009 Mar 9 , 1259, 7-16

PubMed link:

To test the hypothesis that cell-dependent expression of alpha7 receptors is due to differences in protein folding or assembly, we constructed a chimeric rat alpha7 subunit with green fluorescent protein (GFP) at the receptor C-terminal. Expression of alpha7-GFP in Xenopus oocytes resulted in currents that were indistinguishable from wild type receptors but were only 33% of control. (125)I-alpha-bungarotoxin (alphaBGT) binding at the oocyte surface was reduced to 23% of wild type. Transfection of alpha7-GFP into GH4C1 cells produced fluorescence that was less intense than GFP alone, but showed significant alpha-BGT binding compared to transfection with GFP. In contrast, alpha7-GFP transfection in SH-EP1, HEK293 and CHO-CAR cells produced fluorescence without alphaBGT binding. Flow cytometry of cells transfected with alpha7-GFP indicated fluorescence in both SH-EP1 and GH4C1 cells, but surface toxin binding sites and sites immunoprecipitated using anti-GFP antibodies were undetectable in SH-EP1 cells, suggesting a problem in folding/assembly rather than trafficking. Surprisingly, integrated fluorescence intensities in GH4C1 cells transfected with alpha7-GFP did not correlate with amounts of cell surface or immunoprecipitable alphaBGT binding. Therefore, GFP folding at the C-terminal of the alpha7-GFP chimera is cell-line independent, but toxin binding is highly cell-line dependent, suggesting that if altered protein folding is involved in the cell-type dependence of alpha7 receptor expression, the phenomenon is restricted to specific protein domains. Further, C-terminal GFP-labeled alpha7 receptors decreased the efficiency of folding/assembly not only of chimeric subunits, but also wild-type subunits, suggesting that the C-terminal is an important domain for alpha7 receptor assembly.