Nicotine rush hinges on sugar in neurons

When nicotine binds to a neuron, how does the cell know to send the signal that announces a smokers high"

As with other questions involving good sensations, the answer appears to be sugar.

A University of Southern California study appearing with a commentary in Nature Neuroscience online proposes a role for sugar as the hinge that opens a gate in the cell membrane and brings news of nicotines arrival.

Structural biologist Raymond Stevens of The Scripps Research Institute, who was not involved in the study, called it a landmark accomplishment for the fields of structural biology and neuronal cell signaling.

Besides substance addiction, Stevens pointed to epilepsy, schizophrenia and depression as targets for improved drugs that could result from the studys findings.

The study provides the first detailed look at part of the mouse nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR), one in a large and important group of molecules, known as ion channel proteins, that allow signals to pass between neurons.

The results reveal an important role for the sugar molecules in such proteins.

Our studies fill a major gap in the field and set a new paradigm, said Lin Chen, associate professor of molecular and computational biology at USC.

Many existing theories, which do not consider sugars role, are probably incomplete, Chen said.

The debate over how signals pass from the outside of a cell to the inside is a long-standing one.

Some researchers had suggested that when a chemical such as nicotine binds to an ion channel protein on the cell surface, the protein starts a conformational wave that propagates a signal through the protein body to the cell membrane, Chen said.

But the molecular basis of such a wave in nAChR or any other protein has not been clearly established.

Instead, the Chen groups study of crystal structure suggested a simple mechanical role for sugar mo

Contact: Carl Marziali
University of Southern California

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Nicotine: The link between cigarette smoking and kidney disease progression?
2. Nicotine exposure during development leads to hearing problems
3. Nicotine triggers the same brain reward circuitry as opiates
4. White blood cells are picky about sugar
5. Study shows cane sugar, corn sweeteners have similar effects on appetite
6. A spoonful of sugar helps your waistline go down
7. Novel sugar-to-hydrogen technology promises transportation fuel independence
8. New role for sugars: Research shows connections between sugar modifications in cells and cancer
9. Blood sugars manufacture limited by building blocks supply
10. Juiced-up battery fueled by sugar could power small portable electronics
11. Iowa State researchers improve soy processing by boosting protein and sugar yields

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/7/2016)... TORONTO , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii ... begun a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s ... pilot branch project. This collaboration will result in ... for the credit union, while maintaining existing document ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... -- Perimeter Surveillance & Detection Systems, Biometrics ... Support & Other Service  The latest report ... analysis of the global Border Security market . ... $17.98 billion in 2016. Now: In November ... software and hardware technologies for advanced video surveillance. ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... , ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational ... lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells ... this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, ... biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed its ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received ... with the capital we need to meet our current ... essentially provide us the runway to complete validation on ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, ... 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to ... down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: ... (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: ... 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: