Biosceptre has identified nf-P2X7 a non-functional conformation of P2X7, a transmembrane ion channel formed of three identical proteins. When serious errors occur within a cell that require it to terminate, the P2X7 channel is expressed on the cell surface where it binds the energy provision molecule ATP, opens, and allows the rapid influx of Calcium ions, which destroys the cell.
In its non-functional state (nf-P2X7), one of the three proteins that form the ion channel has a conformational error. When nf-P2X7 is expressed at the point that cells need to terminate, this form of the channel can no longer bind ATP, hence it remains closed, does not facilitate Calcium ion influx, and halts apoptosis.
With apoptosis de-activated, dysfunctional cells are able to proliferate and migrate unchecked, resulting in the formation of solid tumours, blood cancers, and metastatic cancers.