acetylcholine receptors
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2022 ◽  
Vol 128 ◽  
pp. 104328
Ling Zhang ◽  
Li-na Yao ◽  
Wei Liu ◽  
An-qi Chen ◽  
Shi-min He ◽  

2022 ◽  
Christian J.G. Tessier ◽  
R. Michel Sturgeon ◽  
Johnathon R. Emlaw ◽  
Gregory D. McCluskey ◽  
F. Javier Pérez-Areales ◽  

Human adult muscle-type acetylcholine receptors are heteropentameric ion channels formed from two α-subunits, and one each of the β-, δ-, and ϵ- subunits. To form functional channels, the subunits must assemble with one another in a precise stoichiometry and arrangement. Despite being different, the four subunits share a common ancestor that is presumed to have formed homopentamers. The extent to which the properties of the modern-day receptor result from its subunit complexity is unknown. Here we show that a reconstructed ancestral muscle-type β-subunit can form homopentameric ion channels. These homopentamers open spontaneously and display single-channel hallmarks of muscle type acetylcholine receptor activity. Our findings demonstrate that signature features of muscle-type acetylcholine receptor function are independent of agonist, and do not necessitate the complex heteropentameric architecture of the modern-day receptor.

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Chloe J. Jordan ◽  
Zheng-Xiong Xi

Understanding risk factors for substance use disorders (SUD) can facilitate medication development for SUD treatment. While a rich literature exists discussing environmental factors that influence SUD, fewer articles have focused on genetic factors that convey vulnerability to drug use. Methods to identify SUD risk genes include Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) and transgenic approaches. GWAS have identified hundreds of gene variants or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). However, few genes identified by GWAS have been verified by clinical or preclinical studies. In contrast, significant progress has been made in transgenic approaches to identify risk genes for SUD. In this article, we review recent progress in identifying candidate genes contributing to drug use and addiction using transgenic approaches. A central hypothesis is if a particular gene variant (e.g., resulting in reduction or deletion of a protein) is associated with increases in drug self-administration or relapse to drug seeking, this gene variant may be considered a risk factor for drug use and addiction. Accordingly, we identified several candidate genes such as those that encode dopamine D2 and D3 receptors, mGluR2, M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, and α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, which appear to meet the risk-gene criteria when their expression is decreased. Here, we describe the role of these receptors in drug reward and addiction, and then summarize major findings from the gene-knockout mice or rats in animal models of addiction. Lastly, we briefly discuss future research directions in identifying addiction-related risk genes and in risk gene-based medication development for the treatment of addiction.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 672
Marta Kopańska ◽  
Marta Batoryna ◽  
Paulina Bartman ◽  
Jacek Szczygielski ◽  
Agnieszka Banaś-Ząbczyk

The appearance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus initiated many studies on the effects of the virus on the human body. So far, its negative influence on the functioning of many morphological and physiological units, including the nervous system, has been demonstrated. Consequently, research has been conducted on the changes that SARS-CoV-2 may cause in the cholinergic system. The aim of this study is to review the latest research from the years 2020/2021 regarding disorders in the cholinergic system caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As a result of the research, it was found that the presence of the COVID-19 virus disrupts the activity of the cholinergic system, for example, causing the development of myasthenia gravis or a change in acetylcholine activity. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein has a sequence similar to neurotoxins, capable of binding nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). This may be proof that SARS-CoV-2 can bind nAChR. Nicotine and caffeine have similar structures to antiviral drugs, capable of binding angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2) epitopes that are recognized by SARS-CoV-2, with the potential to inhibit the formation of the ACE 2/SARS-CoV-2 complex. The blocking is enhanced when nicotine and caffeine are used together with antiviral drugs. This is proof that nAChR agonists can be used along with antiviral drugs in COVID-19 therapy. As a result, it is possible to develop COVID-19 therapies that use these compounds to reduce cytokine production. Another promising therapy is non-invasive stimulation of the vagus nerve, which soothes the body’s cytokine storm. Research on the influence of COVID-19 on the cholinergic system is an area that should continue to be developed as there is a need for further research. It can be firmly stated that COVID-19 causes a dysregulation of the cholinergic system, which leads to a need for further research, because there are many promising therapies that will prevent the SARS-CoV-2 virus from binding to the nicotinic receptor. There is a need for further research, both in vitro and in vivo. It should be noted that in the functioning of the cholinergic system and its connection with the activity of the COVID-19 virus, there might be many promising dependencies and solutions.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Yuya Kanauchi ◽  
Takeshi Yamamoto ◽  
Minako Yoshida ◽  
Yue Zhang ◽  
Jaemin Lee ◽  

AbstractUlcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. Several studies have demonstrated that α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7nAChRs) exert anti-inflammatory effects on immune cells and nicotine suppress UC onset and relapse. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) reportedly accumulate in the colon of UC patients. Therefore, we investigated the pathophysiological roles of α7nAChRs on pDCs in the pathology of UC using oxazolone (OXZ)-induced Th2-type colitis with BALB/c mice. 2-deoxy-D-glucose, a central vagal stimulant suppressed OXZ colitis, and nicotine also ameliorated OXZ colitis with suppressing Th2 cytokines, which was reversed by α7nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine. Additionally, α7nAChRs were expressed on pDCs, which were located very close to cholinergic nerve fibers in the colon of OXZ mice. Furthermore, nicotine suppressed CCL21-induced bone marrow-derived pDC migration due to Rac 1 inactivation, which was reversed by methyllycaconitine, a JAK2 inhibitor AG490 or caspase-3 inhibitor AZ-10417808. CCL21 was mainly expressed in the isolated lymphoid follicles (ILFs) of the colon during OXZ colitis. The therapeutic effect of cholinergic pathway on OXZ colitis probably through α7nAChRs on pDCs were attributed to the suppression of pDC migration toward the ILFs. Therefore, the activation of α7nAChRs has innovative therapeutic potential for the treatment of UC.

Molecules ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 27 (1) ◽  
pp. 312
Tina V. A. Hansen ◽  
Heinz Sager ◽  
Céline E. Toutain ◽  
Elise Courtot ◽  
Cédric Neveu ◽  

Natural plant compounds, such as betaine, are described to have nematocidal properties. Betaine also acts as a neurotransmitter in the free-living model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, where it is required for normal motility. Worm motility is mediated by nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), including subunits from the nematode-specific DEG-3 group. Not all types of nAChRs in this group are associated with motility, and one of these is the DEG-3/DES-2 channel from C. elegans, which is involved in nociception and possibly chemotaxis. Interestingly, the activity of DEG-3/DES-2 channel from the parasitic nematode of ruminants, Haemonchus contortus, is modulated by monepantel and its sulfone metabolite, which belong to the amino-acetonitrile derivative anthelmintic drug class. Here, our aim was to advance the pharmacological knowledge of the DEG-3/DES-2 channel from C. elegans by functionally expressing the DEG-3/DES-2 channel in Xenopus laevis oocytes and using two-electrode voltage-clamp electrophysiology. We found that the DEG-3/DES-2 channel was more sensitive to betaine than ACh and choline, but insensitive to monepantel and monepantel sulfone when used as direct agonists and as allosteric modulators in co-application with betaine. These findings provide important insight into the pharmacology of DEG-3/DES-2 from C. elegans and highlight the pharmacological differences between non-parasitic and parasitic nematode species.

Marine Drugs ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 20 (1) ◽  
pp. 49
William Kem ◽  
Kristin Andrud ◽  
Galen Bruno ◽  
Hong Xing ◽  
Ferenc Soti ◽  

Nereistoxin (NTX) is a marine toxin isolated from an annelid worm that lives along the coasts of Japan. Its insecticidal properties were discovered decades ago and this stimulated the development of a variety of insecticides such as Cartap that are readily transformed into NTX. One unusual feature of NTX is that it is a small cyclic molecule that contains a disulfide bond. In spite of its size, it acts as an antagonist at insect and mammalian nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The functional importance of the disulfide bond was assessed by determining the effects of inserting a methylene group between the two sulfur atoms, creating dimethylaminodithiane (DMA-DT). We also assessed the effect of methylating the NTX and DMA-DT dimethylamino groups on binding to three vertebrate nAChRs. Radioligand receptor binding experiments were carried out using washed membranes from rat brain and fish (Torpedo) electric organ; [3H]-cytisine displacement was used to assess binding to the predominantly high affinity alpha4beta2 nAChRs and [125I]-alpha-bungarotoxin displacement was used to measure binding of NTX and analogs to the alpha7 and skeletal muscle type nAChRs. While the two quaternary nitrogen analogs, relative to their respective tertiary amines, displayed lower α4β2 nAChR binding affinities, both displayed much higher affinities for the Torpedo muscle nAChR and rat alpha7 brain receptors than their respective tertiary amine forms. The binding affinities of DMA-DT for the three nAChRs were lower than those of NTX and MeNTX. An AChBP mutant lacking the C loop disulfide bond that would potentially react with the NTX disulfide bond displayed an NTX affinity very similar to the parent AChBP. Inhibition of [3H]-epibatidine binding to the AChBPs was not affected by exposure to NTX or MeNTX for up to 24 hr prior to addition of the radioligand. Thus, the disulfide bond of NTX is not required to react with the vicinal disulfide in the AChBP C loop for inhibition of [3H]-epibatidine binding. However, a reversible disulfide interchange reaction of NTX with nAChRs might still occur, especially under reducing conditions. Labeled MeNTX, because it can be readily prepared with high specific radioactivity and possesses relatively high affinity for the nAChR-rich Torpedo nAChR, would be a useful probe to detect and identify any nereistoxin adducts.

Biomedicines ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
pp. 92
Kyung-Min Kwon ◽  
Myung-Jun Lee ◽  
Han-Saem Chung ◽  
Jae-Hong Pak ◽  
Chang-Jin Jeon

Somatostatin (SST) is widely expressed in the brain and plays various, vital roles involved in neuromodulation. The purpose of this study is to characterize the organization of SST neurons in the Mongolian gerbil visual cortex (VC) using immunocytochemistry, quantitative analysis, and confocal microscopy. As a diurnal animal, the Mongolian gerbil provides us with a different perspective to other commonly used nocturnal rodent models. In this study, SST neurons were located in all layers of the VC except in layer I; they were most common in layer V. Most SST neurons were multipolar round/oval or stellate cells. No pyramidal neurons were found. Moreover, 2-color immunofluorescence revealed that only 33.50%, 24.05%, 16.73%, 0%, and 64.57% of SST neurons contained gamma-aminobutyric acid, calbindin-D28K, calretinin, parvalbumin, and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, respectively. In contrast, neuropeptide Y and nitric oxide synthase were abundantly expressed, with 80.07% and 75.41% in SST neurons, respectively. Our immunocytochemical analyses of SST with D1 and D2 dopamine receptors and choline acetyltransferase, α7 and β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors suggest that dopaminergic and cholinergic fibers contact some SST neurons. The results showed some distinguishable features of SST neurons and provided some insight into their afferent circuitry in the gerbil VC. These findings may support future studies investigating the role of SST neurons in visual processing.

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