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Purinergic Signal. 2012 Sep;8(3):359-73. doi: 10.1007/s11302-012-9304-9. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

Vesicular and conductive mechanisms of nucleotide release.

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School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7248, USA.


Extracellular nucleotides and nucleosides promote a vast range of physiological responses, via activation of cell surface purinergic receptors. Virtually all tissues and cell types exhibit regulated release of ATP, which, in many cases, is accompanied by the release of uridine nucleotides. Given the relevance of extracellular nucleotide/nucleoside-evoked responses, understanding how ATP and other nucleotides are released from cells is an important physiological question. By facilitating the entry of cytosolic nucleotides into the secretory pathway, recently identified vesicular nucleotide and nucleotide-sugar transporters contribute to the exocytotic release of ATP and UDP-sugars not only from endocrine/exocrine tissues, but also from cell types in which secretory granules have not been biochemically characterized. In addition, plasma membrane connexin hemichannels, pannexin channels, and less-well molecularly defined ATP conducting anion channels have been shown to contribute to the release of ATP (and UTP) under a variety of conditions.

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