Science and Mathematics Faculty Publications

Title

Biochemical Evidence for a P2Y-like Receptor in Tetrahymena thermophila

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2003

Journal Title

Journal of Comparative Physiology A

Volume

89

Issue

10

First Page

781

Last Page

789

Abstract

Extracellular nucleotides are ubiquitous signaling molecules. ATP signals through two receptor types: the ionotropic P2X receptors, and the metabotropic P2Y receptors. ATP acts as a chemorepellent in Tetrahymena thermophila, where it causes a distinct avoidance response. The intracellular mechanisms by which ATP causes avoidance in this organism, however, are unknown. In this study, we use in vivo pharmacological assays along with enzyme immuno-assays to obtain information about the ATP chemorepellent pathway and its associated second messenger systems. Our data show strong similarities between the presumed ATP receptor of T. thermophila and members of the P2Y family of receptors. The ATP response of T. thermophila appears to be coupled to phospholipase C, a defining characteristic of the P2Y receptor family. In addition, the ATP chemoresponse appears to be linked to a G(i/o) protein, nitric oxide synthase, and adenylyl cyclase, all of which are characteristic of some P2Y receptors. This is an important first step in describing the pathways involved in ATP chemoresponse of this organism.

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