Purine and pyrimidine receptors
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Adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP), in addition to its intracellular roles, acts as an extracellular signalling molecule via a rich array of receptors, which have been cloned and characterised. P1 receptors are selective for adenosine, a breakdown product of ATP, produced after degradation by ectonucleotidases. Four subtypes have been identified, A1, A2A, A2B and A3 receptors. P2 receptors are activated by purines and some subtypes also by pyrimidines. P2X receptors are ligand-gated ion channel receptors and seven subunits have been identified, which form both homomultimers and heteromultimers. P2Y receptors are G protein-coupled receptors, and eight subtypes have been cloned and characterised to date.