Name: Criado Herrero, Manuel
Institution: Universitas Miguel Hernandez-CSIC
Center: Instituto de Neurociencias
Address: C/ Ramón y Cajal s/n 03550 Sant Joan d’Alacant. Alicante. Spain
Phone: + 34 965953492
Fax: + 34 965959374
Acetylcholine (ACh) is a key neurotransmitter for brain function. Neuronal Acetylcholine Nicotinic Receptors (nAChRs) can act pre- and postsynaptically. Presynaptic nAChRs regulate neurotransmitter release whereas postsynaptic nAChRs are involved in synaptic transmission at central and perypheral synapses.
nAChRs are involved in several pathological disorders but their most important clinical relevance arises from being responsible for nicotine adiction and, therefore, for tobacco smoking.
The approach used in our group to study nAChRs mainly consist in:
a) generation of mutant receptors by molecular biology techniques.
b) heterologous expression of mutant and wild-type nAChR subunits in Xenopus oocytes and in cultures cells.
c) biochemical, electrophysiological and pharmacological characterization of the expressed nAChRs.
Present objectives of the group related with SICI are:
a) To understand the coupling between acetylcholine binding and channel opening, a long tern endeavor to which we have already contributed substantially. Our know-how could be of benefit to other members studying other channels and having problems that we have already solved.
b) To study the biogenesis of nAChRs and the proteins involved in this process. We believe that the techniques used by other members, mainly image technologies, could be very useful for us.
c) To find nAChR modulators of potential therapeutic interest. We would be willing to characterize new compounds provided by consortium members.