Dr Steve Ennion

Personal Details

Head of Year 1, Leicester Medical School, Senior Tutor and Lecturer

Department: Molecular and Cell Biology
Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 5100
Address: University Rd, Leicester LE1 7RH


During my PhD at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London I studied how temperature regulates muscle gene expression. This was followed by a 5 year fellowship, again at the Royal Free Hospital, studying how myosin heavy chain gene expression is controlled with age and exercise. I then moved to the University of Leicester as a Postdoctoral research fellow where my research switched focus to the P2X family of ligand gated cation channels. These receptors are activated by extracellular ATP and play important roles in a wide variety of physiological processes such as neurotransmission, smooth muscle contraction, platelet activation and immune cell function. My main contributions to this field were to identify the location of the agonist binding site, to demonstrate agonist induced internalisation and rapid re-cycling in native P2X1 receptors and to map the cysteine partner residues of the 5 disulphide bonds present in the extracellular loop. After subsequently gaining a lectureship at the University of Leicester my research focused on P2X receptors in lower organisms as a models for understanding the molecular function of this class of receptor.

In 2015 I moved to a teaching dominant role within Leicester Medical School where I am currently the Head of Year 1 and the Senior Tutor for the Medical School.


  • BSc Hons, University of Reading
  • PhD, University of London


  • Lead for the MBChB Metabolism, Endocrinology and Haematology unit.
  • General lectures, work sessions and anatomy dissection classes throughout Phase 1 of the MBChB course


  1. Bavan S, Straub VA, Webb TE and Ennion SJ (2012) Cloning and characterization of a P2X receptor expressed in the central nervous system of Lymnaea stagnalis. PLoS One 7: e50487.
  2. Bavan S, Farmer L, Singh SK, Straub VA, Guerrero FD and Ennion SJ (2011) The penultimate arginine of the carboxyl terminus determines slow desensitization in a P2X receptor from the cattle tick Boophilus microplus. Molecular Pharmacology 79: 776-785.
  3. Ludlow MJ, Durai L and Ennion SJ (2009) Functional characterization of intracellular Dictyostelium discoideum P2X receptors. Journal of Biological Chemistry 284: 35227-35239. Bavan S, Straub VA, Blaxter ML and Ennion SJ (2009) A P2X receptor from the tardigrade species Hypsibius dujardini with fast kinetics and sensitivity to zinc and copper. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 17.
  4. Ludlow MJ, Traynor D, Fisher PR and Ennion SJ (2008) Purinergic-mediated Ca2+ influx in Dictyostelium discoideum. Cell Calcium 44: 567-579.
  5. Zhao, J, and Ennion SJ (2006) Sp1/3 and NF-1 mediate basal transcription of the human P2X1 gene in megakaryoblastic MEG-01 cells. BMC Molecular Biology, 7: p. 10.
  6. Atkinson, PJ., Young KW, Ennion SJ, Kew JN, Nahorski SR and Challiss RA (2006) Altered expression of G(q/11alpha) protein shapes mGlu1 and mGlu5 receptor-mediated single cell inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and Ca(2+) signaling. Molecular Pharmacology 69(1): p. 174-84.
  7. Agboh KC, Webb TE, Evans RJ and Ennion SJ (2004) Functional characterisation of a P2X receptor from Schistosoma mansoni. Journal of Biological Chemistry 279: 41650-41657.
  8. Ennion SJ, Powell AD and Seward EP (2004) Identification of the P2Y(12) receptor in nucleotide inhibition of exocytosis from bovine chromaffin cells. Molecular Pharmacology 66:601-11.
  9. Ennion SJ and Evans RJ (2002) P2X(1) receptor subunit contribution to gating revealed by a dominant negative PKC mutant. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 291:611-6.
  10. Ennion SJ and Evans RJ (2002) Conserved cysteine residues in the extracellular loop of the human P2X(1) receptor form disulfide bonds and are involved in receptor trafficking to the cell surface. Molecular Pharmacology 61:303-11.
  11. Robertson SJ, Ennion SJ, Evans RJ and Edwards FA. (2001) Synaptic P2X receptors. Current Opinions in Neurobiology. 11, 378-386
  12. Ennion SJ, Ritson J and Evans RJ (2001) Conserved negatively charged residues are not required for ATP action at P2X(1) receptors. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 289:700-4.
  13. Ennion SJ and Evans RJ (2001) Agonist-stimulated internalisation of the ligand-gated ion channel P2X(1) in rat vas deferens. FEBS Letters 489:154-8.
  14. Ennion SJ, Hagan S, Evans RJ. (2000). The role of positively charged amino acids in ATP recognition by human P2X1 receptors. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 275, 29361-7.
  15. Lewis CJ, Ennion SJ and Evans RJ. (2000) P2 purinoceptor-mediated control of rat cerebral (pial) microvasculature; contribution of P2X and P2Y receptors. Journal of Physiology. 527, 315-24.
  16. Mahaut-Smith MP, Ennion SJ, Rolf MG and Evans RJ. (2000). ADP is not an agonist at P2X(1) receptors: evidence for separate receptors stimulated by ATP and ADP on human platelets. British Journal of Pharmacology. 131, 108-14.
  17. Gauvry L, Ennion SJ, Ettelaie C and Goldspink G (2000). Characterisation of red and white muscle myosin heavy chain gene coding sequences from Antarctic and tropical fish. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology B. 127, 575-588.
  18. Svanberg E, Ennion SJ, Isgaard J and Goldspink G. (2000) Postprandial resynthesis of myofibrillar proteins is transcriptionally rather than translationally regulated in human skeletal muscle. Nutrition. 16, 42-6.
  19. Ennion SJ, Wilkes D, Gauvry L, Alami-Durante, H and Goldspink, G. (1999) Identification and expression analysis of two developmentally regulated myosin heavy chain genes in carp (Cyprinus Carpio). Journal of Experimental Biology. 202, 1081-90.
  20. Sant'Ana Pereira J, Ennion SJ, Sargeant A.J, Moorman FM and Goldspink, G. (1997) Comparison of the molecular, antigenic and ATPase determinants of fast myosin heavy chains in rat and human: a single-fibre study. Pflugers Archives. 435, 151-163
  21. Goldspink G, Gauvry L, Mohan Ram, V and Ennion SJ. (1997) Molecular motors for different tasks. Journal of Thermal Biology 22, 367-373.
  22. Gauvry L, Ennion SJ, Hansen E, Butterworth, P and Goldspink, G. (1996). Cloning and Characterisation of a carp myosin heavy chain gene promoter region. European Journal of Biochemistry. 236, 887-894.
  23. Ennion SJ, Sant'Ana Pereira, J, Sargeant A.J, Young, A and Goldspink, G. (1995). Characterization of human skeletal muscle fibers according to the Myosin heavy chains they express. Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility. 16, 35-43.
  24. Ennion, SJ, Gauvry L, Butterworth P. and Goldspink, G. (1995). Small diameter white myotomal muscle fibres associated with growth hyperplasia in the carp (Cyprinus Carpio) express a distinct myosin heavy chain gene. Journal of Experimental Biology. 198, 1603-1611.
  25. Goldspink G. Turay L, Hansen E, Ennion SJ, and Gerlach G. (1992). Switches in fish myosin genes induced by environmental temperature in muscle of the carp. Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology. 46, 139-49.


Since taking on a teaching dominant role within the Leicester Medical School I no longer have an active research programme.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology

T: +44(0)116 229 7038
E: MolCellBiol@le.ac.uk

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