Nicotine Influences over the Proteasome
This grant addresses the interaction of nicotine with the ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS), which is involved in several fundamental cellular processes, in normal conditions and in disease. We have shown that nicotine, by interacting with the UPS, can increase the cellular levels of a number of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity. We are currently exploring the molecular mechanisms of the protesome/nicotine interaction to shed light on how the drug can produce the synaptic changes that lead to nicotine dependence. The significance of our studies extends beyond the addiction field and aim at determining how proteasomal function can affect processes such has learning and memory.
Relevance of the project to IDDRC mission:
The proteasome is involved in various pathologies, including those underlying neurodegeneration. Understanding of its function may impact the finding of a cure for several neurological disorders.