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The hexahistidine-tagged mouse P2X1 receptor (H-mP2X1R), an ATP-gated ion channel receptor, was expressed in a baculovirus system using the pAcHLT-B transfer vector containing a hexahistidine tag. Both widely used denaturing (8M urea) and nondenaturing (such as 1% Triton X-100) solubilization conditions were compared, resulting in about 30% of the P2X1 receptors being solubilized (S1). However, at pH 13 most of the H-mP2X1R from the initially insoluble pellet fraction was solubilized (S2) and remained in the soluble fraction (S3) after dialyzing against a nondenaturing buffer. H-mP2X1Rs were purified sequentially through cobalt and ATP affinity columns. Receptors purified from S3 had higher purity than those from S1 (i.e., ~90% vs. ~75%). Circular dichroism spectra indicated identical protein secondary structures of the receptors from both sources. Autoradiographic data showed that the purified receptors from S3 had higher affinity for 8-azido-ATP-γ-32P than the receptors from S1. The binding of 8-azido-ATP-γ-32P to H-mP2X1R was inhibited by ATP-γ-S, α,β-me-ATP, and PPADS, but not by a nucleoside analog (N6-methyl-2′-deoxy-adenosine). In the presence of 2 mM Ca2+ or Mg2+ the binding was increased, but not when using a partially purified receptor fraction, in which unidentified proteins bound 8-azido-ATP-γ-32P or were phosphorylated at 4°C in the presence of 2 mM Mg2+. These data suggest that the decrease in potency of ATP in the presence of Ca2+ and Mg2+, as observed in functional studies, is not due to a direct effect of the cations on the binding of ATP to the receptor. Both cyanogen bromide and hydroxylamine cleavage further confirmed the peptide structure of the purified H-mP2X1R. Autoradiographic analysis of the cleavage products showed that 8-azido-ATP-γ-32P was crosslinked to the carboxyl side of the extracellular domain of the receptor.