Molecular composition and pharmacology of the human P2X4 ligand-gated ion channel (FOUNTAIN_U18SF)

University of East Anglia
July 07 2017
Life Sciences, Biology
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type


P2X receptors are ligand-gated ion channels activated by extracellular ATP. The human genome encodes 7 pore-forming subunits (P2X1-7), from which functional P2X receptors assembly as homo- and heteromeric trimers (3 subunits). The P2X4 receptor is a drug target for the treatment of neuropathic pain, hypertension and cardiac failure. Despite this, the molecular composition of P2X4 containing ion channels in targets tissues is unclear, though evidence exists for homo- and heteromeric assembly of P2X4 in overexpressed systems. This PhD project will focus on understanding the molecular composition of P2X4-containing receptors in treatment-relevant tissues and in overexpressed systems. The student will explore how the presence of P2X4 heteromers influences receptor pharmacology, and the impact thereafter on cellular function

Training will be provided in the areas of mammalian cell culture, immunoprecipitation, western blotting, confocal microscopy, FRET, calcium imaging and electrophysiology. This project is highly suited to a student with an interest in ion channel/receptor background in pharmacology and biochemistry. The successful candidate will join a world class, dynamic, and well-funded and laboratory. The laboratory is currently funded by BBSRC, British Heart Foundation and international industrial partners. PhD candidates are encouraged to present their research at domestic and international conferences.

The project may be available to start earlier than October 2018, but candidates should discuss this with the primary supervisor in the first instance.

Funding notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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