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Chem Biol Interact. 2016 Nov 25;259(Pt B):257-265. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2016.04.014. Epub 2016 Apr 13.

Cholinergic system and cell proliferation.

Author information

1
Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular-A, Universidad de Murcia, IMIB, Regional Campus of International Excellence "Campus Mare Nostrum", E-30071 Murcia, Spain. Electronic address: fjcampoy@um.es.
2
Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular-A, Universidad de Murcia, IMIB, Regional Campus of International Excellence "Campus Mare Nostrum", E-30071 Murcia, Spain.
3
Molecular Therapy and Biomarker Research Group, Clinical Analysis Service, University Hospital Virgen de la Arrixaca, IMIB-Arrixaca, E-30120 El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.

Abstract

The cholinergic system, comprising acetylcholine, the proteins responsible for acetylcholine synthesis and release, acetylcholine receptors and cholinesterases, is expressed by most human cell types. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, but also a local signalling molecule which regulates basic cell functions, and cholinergic responses are involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis. So, activation of nicotinic and muscarinic receptors has a proliferative and anti-apoptotic effect in many cells. The content of choline acetyltransferase, acetylcholine receptors and cholinesterases is altered in many tumours, and cholinesterase content correlates with patient survival in some cancers. During apoptosis, acetylcholinesterase is induced and appears in the nuclei. Acetylcholinesterase participates in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis through hydrolysis of acetylcholine and by other catalytic and non catalytic mechanisms, in a variant-specific manner. This review gathers information on the role of cholinergic system and specially acetylcholinesterase in cell proliferation and apoptosis.

KEYWORDS:

Acetylcholine; Acetylcholine receptors; Acetylcholinesterase; Apoptosis; Cancer; Proliferation

PMID:
27083142
DOI:
10.1016/j.cbi.2016.04.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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