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

Student Author(s)

Improgo, Ma Reina D.; Scofield, Michael D.

Academic Program


UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Program in Neuroscience; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program; Department of Psychiatry, Brudnick Neuropsychiatric Research Institute; Tapper Lab

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Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Oncology | Psychiatry


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.Oncogene advance online publication, 28 June 2010; doi:10.1038/onc.2010.256.

DOI of Published Version



Improgo MRD, Scofield MD, Tapper AR, and Gardner PD. 2010. From Smoking to Lung Cancer: The Nicotinic Receptor Connection. Oncogene 29 (35): 4874-4884. DOI 10.1038/onc.2010.256. Link to article on publisher's website

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