Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 1998 Jul 17;273(29):18394-404.

Neuronal nicotinic receptors in the locust Locusta migratoria. Cloning and expression.

Author information

Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Institute of Physiological Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry, 6 Duesbergweg, Johannes-Gutenberg University Medical School, 55099 Mainz, Germany.


We have identified five cDNA clones that encode nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits expressed in the nervous system of the locust Locusta migratoria. Four of the subunits are ligand-binding alpha subunits, and the other is a structural beta subunit. The existence of at least one more nAChR gene, probably encoding a beta subunit, is indicated. Based on Northern analysis and in situ hybridization, the five subunit genes are expressed. localpha1, localpha3, and locbeta1 are the most abundant subunits and are expressed in similar areas of the head ganglia and retina of the adult locust. Because Loc<alpha3 binds alpha-bungarotoxin with high affinity, it may form a homomeric nAChR subtype such as the mammalian alpha7 nAChR. Localpha1 and Locbeta1 may then form the predominant heteromeric nAChR in the locust brain. localpha4 is mainly expressed in optic lobe ganglionic cells and localpha2 in peripherally located somata of mushroom body neurons. localpha3 mRNA was additionally detected in cells interspersed in the somatogastric epithelium of the locust embryo, suggesting that this isoform may also be involved in functions other than neuronal excitability. Transcription of all nAChR subunit genes begins approximately 3 days before hatching and continues throughout adult life. Electrophysiological recordings from head ganglionic neurons also indicate the existence of more than one functionally distinct nAChR subtype. Our results suggest the existence of several nAChR subtypes, at least some of them heteromeric, in this insect species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center