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Pflugers Arch. 2006 Aug;452(5):486-500. Epub 2006 Apr 11.

Molecular properties of P2X receptors.

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Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology, Medical Sciences Building, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 9HN, UK.


P2X receptors for adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) are a distinct family of ligand-gated cation channels with two transmembrane domains, intracellular amino and carboxy termini and a large extracellular ligand binding loop. Seven genes (P2X(1-7)) have been cloned and the channels form as either homo or heterotrimeric channels giving rise to a wide range of phenotypes. This review aims to give an account of recent work on the molecular basis of the properties of P2X receptors. In particular, to consider emerging information on the assembly of P2X receptor subunits, channel regulation and desensitisation, targeting, the molecular basis of drug action and the functional contribution of P2X receptors to physiological processes.

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