Molecular determinants of P2Y2 nucleotide receptor function: Implications for proliferative and inflammatory pathways in astrocytes

Gary A. Weisman, M. Wang, Q. Kong, N. E. Chorna, J. T. Neary, Grace Y. Sun, Fernando A. González, C. I. Seye, L. Erb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


In the mammalian nervous system, P2 nucleotide receptors mediate neurotransmission, release of proinflammatory cytokines, and reactive astrogliosis. Extracellular nucleotides activate multiple P2 receptors in neurons and glial cells, including G protein-coupled P2Y receptors and P2X receptors, which are ligand-gated ion channels. In glial cells, the P2Y 2 receptor subtype, distinguished by its ability to be equipotently activated by ATP and UTP, is coupled to pro-inflammatory signaling pathways. In situ hybridization studies with rodent brain slices indicate that P2Y 2 receptors are expressed primarily in the hippocampus and cerebellum. Astrocytes express several P2 receptor subtypes, including P2Y 2 receptors whose activation stimulates cell proliferation and migration. P2Y2 receptors, via an RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) motif in their first extracellular loop, bind to αvβ3/ β5 integrins, whereupon P2Y2 receptor activation stimulates integrin signaling pathways that regulate cytoskeletal reorganization and cell motility. The C-terminus of the P2Y2 receptor contains two Src-homology-3 (SH3)-binding domains that upon receptor activation, promote association with Src and transactivation of growth factor receptors. Together, our results indicate that P2Y2 receptors complex with both integrins and growth factor receptors to activate multiple signaling pathways. Thus, P2Y2 receptors present novel targets to control reactive astrogliosis in neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-183
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrocytes
  • Astrogliosis
  • Growth factor receptors
  • Inflammation
  • Integrins
  • Nucleotides
  • Proliferation
  • RGD motif
  • SH3-binding domain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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