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Metabolic crosstalk: Extracellular ATP and the tumor microenvironment in cancer progression and therapy

Published date

June 28, 2024


"Adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) is a vital element in energy information. It plays a critical role in transmitting signals inside the body, which is necessary for controlling the life activities of all cells, including tumor cells [1]. Its significance extends from intracellular signaling pathways to tumor regression. Purinergic signaling, a form of extracellular paracrine signaling, relies on purine nucleotides. Extracellular ectonucleotidases convert these purine nucleotides to their respective di and mono-phosphate nucleoside forms, contributing significantly to immune biology, cancer biology, and inflammation studies. ATP functions as a mighty damage-linked molecular pattern when released outside the cell, accumulating in inflammatory areas. In the tumor microenvironment (TME), purinergic receptors such as ATP-gated ion channels P2X1-5 and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) (P2Y) interact with ATP and other nucleotides, influencing diverse immune cell activities. CD39 and CD73-mediated extracellular ATP degradation contributes to immunosuppression by diminishing ATP-dependent activation and generating adenosine (ADO), potentially hindering antitumor immunity and promoting tumor development. Unraveling the complexities of extracellular ATP (e-ATP) and ADO effects on the TME poses challenges in identifying optimal treatment targets, yet ongoing investigations aim to devise strategies combating e-ATP/ADO-induced immunosuppression, ultimately enhancing anti-tumor immunity. This review explores e-ATP metabolism, its purinergic signaling, and therapeutic strategies targeting associated receptors and enzymes."

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