Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32078158
Link to DOI – 10.1111/jnc.14989
J Neurochem 2020 08; 154(3): 241-250
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are major signalling molecules in the central and peripheral nervous system. Over the last decade, they have been linked to a number of major human psychiatric and neurological conditions, like smoking, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and many others. Human Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have robustly identified genetic alterations at a locus of chromosome 15q to several of these diseases. In this review, we discuss a major coding polymorphism in the alpha5 subunit, referred to as α5SNP, and its functional dissection in vitro and in vivo. Its presence at high frequency in many human populations lends itself to pharmaceutical intervention in the context of ‘positive allosteric modulators’ (PAMs). We will present the prospects of this novel treatment, and the remaining challenges to identify suitable molecules.