Alpha-4 beta-2 nicotinic receptor

The alpha-4 beta-2 nicotinic receptor, also known as the α4β2 receptor, is a type of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor implicated in learning,[1] consisting of α4 and β2 subunits.[2] It is located in the brain, where activation yields post- and presynaptic excitation,[2] mainly by increased Na+ and K+ permeability.

Stimulation of this receptor subtype is also associated with growth hormone secretion. People with the inactive CHRNA4 mutation Ser248Phe are an average of 10 cm (4 inches) shorter than average and predisposed to obesity.[3] A 2015 review noted that stimulation of the α4β2 nicotinic receptor in the brain is responsible for certain improvements in attentional performance;[4] among the nicotinic receptor subtypes, nicotine has the highest binding affinity at the α4β2 receptor (ki=1 nM), which is also the primary biological target that mediates nicotine's addictive properties.[5]

The receptors exist in the two stoichiometries:


The x-ray structure of the (α4)2(β2)3 receptor is known since 2016[6] and reveals a circular α–β–β–α–β ordering of subunits.





See also


  1. Cordero-Erausquin, M; Marubio, LM; Klink, R; Changeux, JP (2000). "Nicotinic receptor function: new perspectives from knockout mice" (PDF). Trends Pharmacol Sci. 21 (6): 211–7. doi:10.1016/S0165-6147(00)01489-9. PMID 10838608.
  2. 1 2 Rang; Dale; Ritter; Moore (2003). Pharmacology (5th ed.). Churchill Livingstone. p. 138. ISBN 0-443-07145-4.
  3. Fedi, M; Bach, LA; Berkovic, SF; Willoughby, JO; Scheffer, IE; Reutens, DC (2008). "Association of a nicotinic receptor mutation with reduced height and blunted physostigmine-stimulated growth hormone release". The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 93 (2): 634–7. doi:10.1210/jc.2007-1611. PMID 18042647.
  4. Sarter M (August 2015). "Behavioral-cognitive targets for cholinergic enhancement". Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. 4: 22–26. doi:10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.01.004.
  5. "Nicotine: Biological activity". IUPHAR/BPS Guide to Pharmacology. International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. Retrieved 7 February 2016. Kis as follows; α2β4=9900nM [5], α3β2=14nM [1], α3β4=187nM [1], α4β2=1nM [4,6]. Due to the heterogeneity of nACh channels we have not tagged a primary drug target for nicotine, although the α4β2 is reported to be the predominant high affinity subtype in the brain which mediates nicotine addiction [2-3].
  6. Morales-Perez CL, Noviello CM, Hibbs RE (2016). "X-ray structure of the human α4β2 nicotinic receptor". Nature. 538 (7625): 411–415. doi:10.1038/nature19785. PMID 27698419.
  7. Zwart, R.; Carbone, A. L.; Moroni, M.; Bermudez, I.; Mogg, A. J.; Folly, E. A.; Broad, L. M.; Williams, A. C.; Zhang, D.; Ding, C.; Heinz, B. A.; Sher, E. (2008). "Sazetidine-A is a potent and selective agonist at native and recombinant alpha 4 beta 2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors". Mol. Pharmacol. 73 (6): 1838–43. doi:10.1124/mol.108.045104. PMID 18367540.
  8. Bunnelle, William H.; Daanen, Jerome F.; Ryther, Keith B.; Schrimpf, Michael R.; Dart, Michael J.; Gelain, Arianna; Meyer, Michael D.; Frost, Jennifer M.; Anderson, David J.; Buckley, Michael; Curzon, Peter; Cao, Ying-Jun; Puttfarcken, Pamela; Searle, Xenia; Ji, Jianguo; Putman, C. Brent; Surowy, Carol; Toma, Lucio; Barlocco, Daniela (2007). "Structure-activity studies and analgesic efficacy of N-(3-pyridinyl)-bridged bicyclic diamines, exceptionally potent agonists at nicotinic acetylcholine receptors". J. Med. Chem. 50 (15): 3627–44. doi:10.1021/jm070018l. PMID 17585748.
  9. Frost (Née Pac, Jennifer M.; Bunnelle, William H.; Tietje, Karin R.; Anderson, David J.; Rueter, Lynne E.; Curzon, Peter; Surowy, Carol S.; Ji, Jianquo; Daanen, Jerome F.; Kohlhaas, Kathy L.; Buckley, Michael J.; Henry, Rodger F.; Dyhring, Tino; Ahring, Philip K.; Meyer, Michael D. (2006). "Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of 3,8-diazabicyclo[4.2.0]octane ligands, potent nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists". J. Med. Chem. 49 (26): 7843–53. doi:10.1021/jm060846z. PMID 17181167.
  10. Ji, Jianguo; Schrimpf, Michael R.; Sippy, Kevin B.; Bunnelle, William H.; Li, Tao; Anderson, David J.; Faltynek, Connie; Surowy, Carol S.; Dyhring, Tino; Ahring, Philip K.; Meyer, Michael D. (2007). "Synthesis and structure-activity relationship studies of 3,6-diazabicyclo[3.2.0]heptanes as novel alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor selective agonists". J. Med. Chem. 50 (22): 5493–508. doi:10.1021/jm070755h. PMID 17929796.
  11. Grupe, M; Jensen, AA; Ahring, PK; Christensen, JK; Grunnet, M (2013). "Unravelling the mechanism of action of NS9283, a positive allosteric modulator of (α4)3(β2)2 nicotinic ACh receptors". British Journal of Pharmacology. 168 (8): 2000–10. doi:10.1111/bph.12095. PMC 3623068Freely accessible. PMID 23278456.
  12. Kim, Jin-Sung; Padnya, Anshul; Weltzin, Maegan; Edmonds, Brian W.; Schulte, Marvin K.; Glennon, Richard A. (2007). "Synthesis of desformylflustrabromine and its evaluation as an alpha4beta2 and alpha7 nACh receptor modulator". Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 17 (17): 4855–60. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2007.06.047. PMC 3633077Freely accessible. PMID 17604168.
  13. Albrecht, Brian K.; Berry, Virginia; Boezio, Alessandro A.; Cao, Lei; Clarkin, Kristie; Guo, Wenhong; Harmange, Jean-Christophe; Hierl, Markus; Huang, Liyue; Janosky, Brett; Knop, Johannes; Malmberg, Annika; McDermott, Jeff S.; Nguyen, Hung Q.; Springer, Stephanie K.; Waldon, Daniel; Woodin, Katrina; McDonough, Stefan I. (2008). "Discovery and optimization of substituted piperidines as potent, selective, CNS-penetrant alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor potentiators". Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 18 (19): 5209–12. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2008.08.080. PMID 18789861.
  14. Springer, Stephanie K.; Woodin, Katrina S.; Berry, Virginia; Boezio, Alessandro A.; Cao, Lei; Clarkin, Kristie; Harmange, Jean-Christophe; Hierl, Markus; Knop, Johannes; Malmberg, Annika B.; McDermott, Jeff S.; Nguyen, Hung Q.; Waldon, Daniel; Albrecht, Brian K.; McDonough, Stefan I. (2008). "Synthesis and activity of substituted carbamates as potentiators of the alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor". Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 18 (20): 5643–7. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2008.08.092. PMID 18805006.
  15. Gao, Yongjun; Kuwabara, Hiroto; Spivak, Charles E.; Xiao, Yingxian; Kellar, Kenneth; Ravert, Hayden T.; Kumar, Anil; Alexander, Mohab; Hilton, John; Wong, Dean F.; Dannals, Robert F.; Horti, Andrew G. (2008). "Discovery of (−)-7-methyl-2-exo-[3'-(6-[18F]fluoropyridin-2-yl)-5'-pyridinyl]-7-azabicyclo[2.2.1]heptane, a radiolabeled antagonist for cerebral nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (alpha4beta2-nAChR) with optimal positron emission tomography imaging properties". J. Med. Chem. 51 (15): 4751–64. doi:10.1021/jm800323d. PMID 18605717.
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