Primitive ATP-activated P2X receptors: discovery, function and pharmacology

Fountain, Samuel J. ORCID: (2013) Primitive ATP-activated P2X receptors: discovery, function and pharmacology. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 7. ISSN 1662-5102

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Adenosine 5-triphosphate (ATP) is omnipresent in biology. It is therefore no surprise that organisms have evolved multifaceted roles for ATP, exploiting its abundance and restriction of passive diffusion across biological membranes. A striking role is the emergence of ATP as a bona fide transmitter molecule, whereby the movement of ATP across membranes serves as a chemical message through a direct ligand-receptor interaction. P2X receptors are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate fast responses to the transmitter ATP in mammalian cells including central and sensory neurons, vascular smooth muscle, endothelium, and leukocytes. Molecular cloning of P2X receptors and our understanding of structure-function relationships has provided sequence information with which to query an exponentially expanding wealth of genome sequence information including protist, early animal and human pathogen genomes. P2X receptors have now been cloned and characterized from a number of simple organisms. Such work has led to surprising new cellular roles for the P2X receptors family and an unusual phylogeny, with organisms such as Drosophila and C. elegans notably lacking P2X receptors despite retaining ionotropic receptors for other common transmitters that are present in mammals. This review will summarize current work on the evolutionary biology of P2X receptors and ATP as a signaling molecule, discuss what can be drawn from such studies when considering the action of ATP in higher animals and plants, and outline how simple organisms may be exploited experimentally to inform P2X receptor function in a wider context.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2013 Fountain. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Uncontrolled Keywords: p2x receptor,evolution,molecular,pharmacology,structure-activity relationship,ion channels
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Cells and Tissues
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2014 14:16
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2023 00:19
DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2013.00247

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