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Nature. 2006 Aug 3;442(7102):527-32.

P2X receptors as cell-surface ATP sensors in health and disease.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK.


P2X receptors are membrane ion channels activated by the binding of extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP). For years their functional significance was consigned to distant regions of the autonomic nervous system, but recent work indicates several further key roles, such as afferent signalling, chronic pain, and in autocrine loops of endothelial and epithelial cells. P2X receptors have a molecular architecture distinct from other ion channel protein families, and have several unique functional properties.

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