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P2X7 is a cytotoxic receptor….maybe not: implications for cancer.

Authors
  • Di Virgilio, Francesco1
  • 1 Department of Medical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy. [email protected] , (Italy)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Purinergic Signalling
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2021
Volume
17
Issue
1
Pages
55–61
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11302-020-09735-w
PMID: 33011962
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The tumor microenvironment is rich in extracellular ATP. This nucleotide affects both cancer and infiltrating immune cell responses by acting at P2 receptors, chiefly P2X7. ATP is then degraded to generate adenosine, a very powerful immunosuppressant. The purinergic hypothesis put forward by Geoff Burnstock prompted innovative investigation in this field and provided the intellectual framework to interpret a myriad of experimental findings. This is a short appraisal of how Geoff's inspiration influenced cancer studies and my own investigation highlighting the key role of the P2X7 receptor.

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