Encyclopedia of Molecular Pharmacology

Living Edition
| Editors: Stefan Offermanns, Walter Rosenthal

Adenosine Receptors

  • Kenneth A. JacobsonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-21573-6_175-1



Extracellular adenosine acts through a class of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), defined across mammalian species as A1, A2A, A2B, and A3ARs (adenosine receptors). Adenosine has a cytoprotective and allostatic role in the body, both in the periphery and in the central nervous system. Following binding of adenosine, or another naturally occurring agonist, the receptor interacts with heterotrimeric G proteins and β-arrestin to stimulate or inhibit downstream signaling cascades, or to induce receptor desensitization.

Basic Characteristics

The purine nucleoside adenosine, as a natural local modulator of cell action, increases the ratio of oxygen supply to demand, suppresses excessive inflammation, and promotes tissue protection against apoptosis or ischemic damage. ARs also have effects on proliferation and differentiation. Nearly every cell type in the body expresses one or more of these receptors, indicating the fundamental...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Recognition Section, Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney DiseasesNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA