Role of purines in regulation of metabolic reprogramming

Purinergic Signal. 2019 Dec;15(4):423-438. doi: 10.1007/s11302-019-09676-z. Epub 2019 Sep 6.


Purines, among most influential molecules, are reported to have essential biological function by regulating various cell types. A large number of studies have led to the discovery of many biological functions of the purine nucleotides such as ATP, ADP, and adenosine, as signaling molecules that engage G protein-coupled or ligand-gated ion channel receptors. The role of purines in the regulation of cellular functions at the gene or protein level has been well documented. With the advances in multiomics, including those from metabolomic and bioinformatic analyses, metabolic reprogramming was identified as a key mechanism involved in the regulation of cellular function under physiological or pathological conditions. Recent studies suggest that purines or purine-derived products contribute to important regulatory functions in many fundamental biological and pathological processes related to metabolic reprogramming. Therefore, this review summarizes the role and potential mechanism of purines in the regulation of metabolic reprogramming. In particular, the molecular mechanisms of extracellular purine- and intracellular purine-mediated metabolic regulation in various cells during disease development are discussed. In summary, our review provides an extensive resource for studying the regulatory role of purines in metabolic reprogramming and sheds light on the utilization of the corresponding peptides or proteins for disease diagnosis and therapy.

Keywords: Metabolic reprogramming; Purines; Signal transduction; Target therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Purines / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Purines
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Adenosine
  • purine