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Genes 2013, 4(2), 171-197;

Non-Neuronal Functions of the M2 Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor

Institute of Biochemistry, Medical Faculty, University of Giessen, Friedrichstrasse 24, 35392 Giessen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2013 / Revised: 10 March 2013 / Accepted: 25 March 2013 / Published: 2 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signal Transduction)
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Acetylcholine is an important neurotransmitter whose effects are mediated by two classes of receptors. The nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are ion channels, whereas the muscarinic receptors belong to the large family of G protein coupled seven transmembrane helix receptors. Beyond its function in neuronal systems, it has become evident that acetylcholine also plays an important role in non-neuronal cells such as epithelial and immune cells. Furthermore, many cell types in the periphery are capable of synthesizing acetylcholine and express at least some of the receptors. In this review, we summarize the non-neuronal functions of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, especially those of the M2 muscarinic receptor in epithelial cells. We will review the mechanisms of signaling by the M2 receptor but also the cellular trafficking and ARF6 mediated endocytosis of this receptor, which play an important role in the regulation of signaling events. In addition, we provide an overview of the M2 receptor in human pathological conditions such as autoimmune diseases and cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: acetylcholine; G proteins; signal transduction; muscarinic receptors acetylcholine; G proteins; signal transduction; muscarinic receptors

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ockenga, W.; Kühne, S.; Bocksberger, S.; Banning, A.; Tikkanen, R. Non-Neuronal Functions of the M2 Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor. Genes 2013, 4, 171-197.

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