The functional expression of P2X receptors at the plasma membrane is dependent on their trafficking along secretory and endocytic pathways. There are seven P2X receptor subunits, and these differ in their subcellular distributions because they have very different trafficking properties. Some are retained within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), while others are predominantly at the cell surface or within endosomes and lysosomes. Changes in recruitment of receptors to and from the plasma membrane provides a way of rapidly upor down-regulating the cellular response to adenosine triphosphate (ATP). An additional layer of regulation is the targeting of these receptors within the membranes of each compartment, which affects their stability, function and the nature of the effector proteins with which they form signaling complexes. The trafficking and targeting of P2X receptors is regulated by their interactions with other proteins and with lipids and we can expect this to vary in a cell-type specific manner and in response to changes in the environment giving rise to differences in receptor activity and function.
Robinson, L. E., & Murrell-Lagnado, R. D. (2013). The trafficking and targeting of P2X receptors. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 7(NOV). https://doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2013.00233