Article

From smoking to lung cancer: the CHRNA5/A3/B4 connection

Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
Oncogene (Impact Factor: 8.56). 09/2010; 29(35):4874-84. DOI: 10.1038/onc.2010.256
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that modulate key physiological processes ranging from neurotransmission to cancer signaling. These receptors are activated by the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, and the tobacco alkaloid, nicotine. Recently, the gene cluster encoding the alpha3, alpha5 and beta4 nAChR subunits received heightened interest after a succession of linkage analyses and association studies identified multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms in these genes that are associated with an increased risk for nicotine dependence and lung cancer. It is not clear whether the risk for lung cancer is direct or an effect of nicotine dependence, as evidence for both scenarios exist. In this study, we summarize the body of work implicating nAChRs in the pathogenesis of lung cancer, with special focus on the clustered nAChR subunits and their emerging role in this disease state.

Full-text

Available from: Michael David Scofield, Aug 27, 2014
1 Follower
 · 
187 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nicotine binds to and activates a family of ligand-gated ion channels, neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Chronic nicotine exposure alters the expression of various nAChR subtypes, which likely contributes to nicotine dependence; however, the underlying mechanisms regulating these changes remain unclear. A growing body of evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRNAs) may be involved in nAChR regulation. Using bioinformatics, miRNA library screening, site-directed mutagenesis, and gene expression analysis, we have identified a limited number of miRNAs that functionally interact with the 3'-untranslated regions (3' UTRs) of mammalian neuronal nAChR subunit genes. In silico analyses revealed specific, evolutionarily conserved sites within the 3' UTRs through which the miRNAs regulate gene expression. Mutating these sites disrupted miRNA regulation confirming the in silico predictions. In addition, the miRNAs that target nAChR 3' UTRs are expressed in mouse brain and are regulated by chronic nicotine exposure. Furthermore, we show that expression of one of these miRNAs, miR-542-3p, is modulated by nicotine within the mesocorticolimbic reward pathway. Importantly, overexpression of miR-542-3p led to a decrease in the protein levels of its target, the nAChR β2 subunit. Bioinformatic analysis suggests that a number of the miRNAs play a general role in regulating cholinergic signaling. Our results provide evidence for a novel mode of nicotine-mediated regulation of the mammalian nAChR gene family.
    RNA 10/2014; 20(12). DOI:10.1261/rna.034066.112 · 4.62 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In airways, a proliferative effect is played directly by cholinergic agonists through nicotinic and muscarinic receptors activation. How tumors respond to aberrantly activated cholinergic signalling is a key question in smoking-related cancer. This research was addressed to explore a possible link of cholinergic signalling changes with cancer biology. fifty-seven paired pieces of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and adjacent non-cancerous tissue (ANCT) were compared for their mRNA levels for ACh-related proteins and ACh-hydrolyzing activity. The measurement in ANCT of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activities (5.416 ± 0.501 mU/mg protein and 6.350 ± 0.599 mU/mg protein, respectively) demonstrated that upper respiratory tract is capable of controlling the availability of ACh. In HNSCC, AChE and BChE activities dropped to 3.584 ± 0.599 mU/mg protein (p = 0.002) and 3.965 ± 0.423 mU/mg protein (p < 0.001). Moreover, tumours with low AChE activity and high BChE activity were associated with shorter patient overall survival. ANCT and HNSCC differed in mRNA levels for AChE-T, α3, α5, α9 and β2 for nAChR subunits. Tobacco exposure had a great impact on the expression of both AChE-H and AChE-T mRNAs. Unaffected and cancerous pieces contained principal AChE dimers and BChE tetramers. The lack of nerve-born PRiMA-linked AChE agreed with pathological findings on nerve terminal remodelling and loss in HNSCC. Our results suggest that the low AChE activity in HNSCC can be used to predict survival in patients with head and neck cancer. So, the ChE activity level can be used as a reliable prognostic marker.
    BMC Cancer 05/2015; 15(1):385. DOI:10.1186/s12885-015-1402-y · 3.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    The Open Cancer Journal 04/2015; 8(1):1-11. DOI:10.2174/1874079001508010001