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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Serrano-Moreno, José Ramón

Second Advisor

Otto, Joann

Third Advisor

Rose, Jacqueline K.


Since its discovery just over a decade ago, Pannexin-1 (Px1) has been recognized in a number of important physiological and pathophysiological processes such as taste, inflammation, and tumor suppression. This large-pore, polymodal ion channel was initially identified as ‗voltage-dependent,‘ though there have been no precise studies concerning the gating properties of Px1 to date. Because Px1 is expressed in excitable cells, identifying voltage-gating properties of Px1 was our primary goal. Using the two-electrode voltage clamp technique, we showed for the first time that Px1 is a weakly voltage-gated channel. Depolarizing voltages up to +200 mV revealed half-maximal activation at +51 mV and a weak voltage-dependence through generation of a complete Boltzmann activation curve. We also showed that Px1 activates in < 3.5 ms, consistent with the time frame of action potentials (1-4 ms). Opening rates of Px1 also seemed to be very weakly voltage-dependent. Further, we showed that Px1 displays consistent current decay at depolarizing voltages greater than +100 mV. Additionally, using two cell systems to exogenously express Px1, we observed a marked decrease of functional Px1 expression within ~24 hours of injection. Taken together, our findings suggest that Px1 is a fast opening, voltage-sensitive channel that may have a number of mechanisms in place to prevent uncontrolled conductivity.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Gap junctions (Cell biology)--Electric properties; Ion channels--Electric properties; Tumor suppressor proteins--Electric properties




masters theses




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