Adenosine A2a receptor

Adenosine A2a receptor

Adenosine A2a receptor
Available structures
PDB Ortholog search: RCSB
RNA expression pattern

The adenosine A2A receptor, also known as ADORA2A, is an adenosine receptor, but also denotes the human gene encoding it.[1][2]


This protein is a member of the


The actions of the A2A receptor are complicated by the fact that a variety of functional heteromers composed of a mixture of A2A subunits with subunits from other unrelated G-protein coupled receptors have been found in the brain, adding a further degree of complexity to the role of adenosine in modulation of neuronal activity. Hetereomers consisting of adenosine A1/A2A,[4][5] dopamine D2/A2A[6] and D3/A2A,[7] glutamate mGluR5/A2A[8] and cannabinoid CB1/A2A[9] have all been observed, as well as CB1/A2A/D2 heterotrimers,[10] and the functional significance and endogenous role of these hybrid receptors is still only starting to be unravelled.[11][12][13]


The gene encodes a protein which is one of several receptor subtypes for adenosine. The activity of the encoded protein, a G protein-coupled receptor family member, is mediated by G proteins which activate adenylyl cyclase, which induce synthesis of intracellular cAMP. The encoded protein is abundant in basal ganglia, vasculature, T lymphocytes, and platelets and it is a major target of caffeine, which is a competitive antagonist of this protein.[14]

Physiological role

As with the A1, the A2A receptors are believed to play a role in regulating myocardial oxygen consumption and coronary blood flow. In addition, A2A receptor can negatively regulate overreactive immune cells, thereby protecting tissues from collateral inflammatory damage.[15]

The A2A receptor is responsible for regulating myocardial blood flow by vasodilating the coronary arteries, which increases blood flow to the myocardium, but may lead to hypotension. Just as in A1 receptors, this normally serves as a protective mechanism, but may be destructive in altered cardiac function.

The A2A receptor is also expressed in the brain, where it has important roles in the regulation of glutamate and dopamine release, making it a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of conditions such as insomnia, pain, depression, drug addiction and Parkinson's disease.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22]


A number of selective A2A ligands have been developed,[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34] with several possible therapeutic applications.[35][36][37][38][39][40] Older research on adenosine receptor function, and non-selective adenosine receptor antagonists such as aminophylline, focused mainly on the role of adenosine receptors in the heart, and led to several randomized controlled trials using these receptor antagonists to treat bradyasystolic arrest.[41][42][43][44][45][46][47]

However the development of more highly selective A2A ligands has led towards other applications, with the most significant focus of research currently being the potential therapeutic role for A2A antagonists in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.[48][49][50][51]




Adenosine A2A receptor has been shown to interact with Dopamine receptor D2.[60] As a result, Adenosine receptor A2A decreases activity in the Dopamine D2 receptors.


Further reading