During chemotaxis, cells respond to tiny changes in the concentration of chemoattractant molecules and move toward their source. Chen et al. (see the Perspective by Linden) show that in addition to receptors for the chemoattractant peptide N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP), human neutrophils use two other receptor systems to promote appropriate cell migration. Neutrophils exposed to a concentration gradient of fMLP released adenosine triphosphate (ATP) at the leading edge of the cell. The released ATP appeared to act in an autocrine manner and stimulated purinergic receptors to provide a signal required for proper orientation of the cell.
Y. Chen, R. Corriden, Y. Inoue, L. Yip, N. Hashiguchi, A. Zinkernagel, V. Nizet, P. A. Insel, W. G. Junger, ATP release guides neutrophil chemotaxis via P2Y2 and A3 receptors. Science 314, 1792-1795 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]