The P2X7 receptor: A key player in IL-1 processing and release

Davide Ferrari, Cinzia Pizzirani, Elena Adinolfi, Roberto M. Lemoli, Antonio Curti, Marco Idzko, Elisabeth Panther, Francesco Di Virgilio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human IL-1 family proteins are key mediators of the host response to infections, injury, and immunologic challenges. The mechanism by which IL-1 activates proinflammatory responses in target cells, and the plasma membrane receptors involved, is fairly well known. This has led to the development of innovative drugs that block IL-1 downstream to its synthesis and secretion. On the contrary, the mechanism of IL-1 and other IL-1 family members (e.g., IL-18) maturation and release is incompletely understood. Accruing evidence points to a plasma membrane receptor for extracellular ATP, the P2X7 receptor, as a key player in both processes. A deeper understanding of the mechanism by which the P2X7 receptor triggers IL-1 maturation and exteriorization may suggest novel avenues for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and provide a deeper insight in the fundamental mechanism of protease activation and cellular export of proteins lacking a leader sequence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3877-3883
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'The P2X7 receptor: A key player in IL-1 processing and release'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this