(-)-Reboxetine inhibits muscle nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by interacting with luminal and non-luminal sites

Hugo R. Arias, Marcelo O. Ortells, Dominik Feuerbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The interaction of (-)-reboxetine, a non-tricyclic norepinephrine selective reuptake inhibitor, with muscle-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) in different conformational states was studied by functional and structural approaches. The results established that (-)-reboxetine: (a) inhibits (±)-epibatidine-induced Ca2+ influx in human (h) muscle embryonic (hα1β1γδ) and adult (hα1β1ε δ) AChRs in a non-competitive manner and with potencies IC50 = 3.86 ± 0.49 and 1.92 ± 0.48 μM, respectively, (b) binds to the [3H]TCP site with ∼13-fold higher affinity when the Torpedo AChR is in the desensitized state compared to the resting state, (c) enhances [ 3H]cytisine binding to the resting but activatableTorpedo AChR but not to the desensitized AChR, suggesting desensitizing properties, (d) overlaps the PCP luminal site located between rings 6′ and 13′ in the Torpedo but not human muscle AChRs. In silico mutation results indicate that ring 9′ is the minimum structural component for (-)-reboxetine binding, and (e) interacts to non-luminal sites located within the transmembrane segments from the Torpedo AChR γ subunit, and at the α1/ε transmembrane interface from the adult muscle AChR. In conclusion, (-)-reboxetine non-competitively inhibits muscle AChRs by binding to the TCP luminal site and by inducing receptor desensitization (maybe by interacting with non-luminal sites), a mechanism that is shared by tricyclic antidepressants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalNeurochemistry International
Issue number5
StatePublished - 30 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Antidepressants
  • Conformational states
  • Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
  • Norepinephrine selective reuptake inhibitor
  • Reboxetine


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