Mechanisms of ATP Release and Inactivation

  • Geoffrey Burnstock
  • Alexei Verkhratsky


Nearly, all cells from very early life‐forms release ATP. ATP release is recognized throughout the phylogenetic tree, being present in bacteria, yeasts, plants, prokaryotic single-celled organisms, and in invertebrates. In mammals ATP release is found in neurons and secretory cells, astrocytes, muscle cells, endothelial cells, fibroblasts, macrophages, erythrocytes, platelets, dendritic cells, neutrophils, hepatocytes, and cholangiocytes. Release of ATP occurs through several mechanisms, which include regulated exocytosis, diffusion through plasmalemmal channels (various types of anion channels, unpaired connexons or hemichannels) and possibly through plasmalemmal transporters. After being released ATP is metabolized by an extended family of ecto-nucleotidases.


Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator Anion Channel Purinergic Signalling Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase Niflumic Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Autonomic Neuroscience CentreUniversity College Medical SchoolLondonUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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