Gene Symbol: Chrna3
Description: cholinergic receptor, nicotinic, alpha polypeptide 3
Alias: A730007P14Rik, Acra-3, Acra3, neuronal acetylcholine receptor subunit alpha-3, alpha 3, neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, alpha 3 subunit
Species: mouse
Products:     Chrna3

Top Publications

  1. Bansal A, Singer J, Hwang B, Xu W, Beaudet A, Feller M. Mice lacking specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits exhibit dramatically altered spontaneous activity patterns and reveal a limited role for retinal waves in forming ON and OFF circuits in the inner retina. J Neurosci. 2000;20:7672-81 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that retinal waves mediated by nAChRs are involved in, but not required for, the development of neural circuits that define the ON and OFF sublamina of the inner plexiform layer. ..
  2. Rassadi S, Krishnaswamy A, Pié B, McConnell R, Jacob M, Cooper E. A null mutation for the alpha3 nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptor gene abolishes fast synaptic activity in sympathetic ganglia and reveals that ACh output from developing preganglionic terminals is regulated in an activity-dependent retrograde ma. J Neurosci. 2005;25:8555-66 pubmed
  3. Whiteaker P, Peterson C, Xu W, McIntosh J, Paylor R, Beaudet A, et al. Involvement of the alpha3 subunit in central nicotinic binding populations. J Neurosci. 2002;22:2522-9 pubmed
    ..However, widespread but lower levels of alpha3-independent -resistant [125I]epibatidine binding were also seen. Again, this may indicate the existence of an additional, minor population of non-alpha3 -resistant sites. ..
  4. Scholze P, Koth G, Orr Urtreger A, Huck S. Subunit composition of ?5-containing nicotinic receptors in the rodent habenula. J Neurochem. 2012;121:551-60 pubmed publisher
    ..Observations in ?2 and ?4 null mice indicate that although ?5 requires the presence of the ?4 subunit for assembling (but not of ?2), ?5 in wild-type mice assembles into receptors that also contain the subunits ?3, ?2, and ?4. ..
  5. Kuo Y, Lucero L, Michaels J, Deluca D, Lukas R. Differential expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in fetal and neonatal mouse thymus. J Neuroimmunol. 2002;130:140-54 pubmed
    ..These studies suggest important roles for nAChR in immune system development and function and in the neuroimmune network. ..
  6. Purohit P, Bruhova I, Auerbach A. Sources of energy for gating by neurotransmitters in acetylcholine receptor channels. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:9384-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Mutations of TyrC1 cause particularly large energy reductions because they remove two favorable and approximately equal interactions between the aromatic ring and the quaternary amine of the agonist and between the hydroxyl and ?Lys?7. ..
  7. Schneider A, Atluri P, Shen Q, Barnes W, Mah S, Stadfelt D, et al. Functional nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expression on stem and progenitor cells of the early embryonic nervous system. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002;971:135-8 pubmed
    ..We now report the first evidence of functional nicotinic ACh receptors on stem and progenitor cells of fetal mouse cerebral cortex as early as embryonic day 10. ..
  8. Miner L, Marley R. Chromosomal mapping of the psychomotor stimulant effects of cocaine in BXD recombinant inbred mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1995;122:209-14 pubmed
    ..The largest associations for baseline activity were observed on chromosomes 5 and 9 and the largest associations for cocaine's psychomotor stimulant effects on chromosomes 3 and 17. ..
  9. Soultanova A, Panneck A, Rafiq A, Kummer W. Terminally differentiated epithelial cells of the thymic medulla and skin express nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit ? 3. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:757502 pubmed publisher
    ..and the predominantly expressed receptor is the ?3-subunit of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, encoded by the chrna3 gene. We here determined its cellular distribution utilizing an appropriate eGFP-expressing reporter mouse strain...

More Information


  1. Erwin V, Markel P, Johnson T, Gehle V, Jones B. Common quantitative trait loci for alcohol-related behaviors and central nervous system neurotensin measures: hypnotic and hypothermic effects. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1997;280:911-8 pubmed
    ..Common QTL indicate that genes regulating NT receptor and/or NT-ir expression may be the same as those regulating sensitivity to ethanol. ..
  2. Girard B, Merriam L, Tompkins J, Vizzard M, Parsons R. Decrease in neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit and PSD-93 transcript levels in the male mouse MPG after cavernous nerve injury or explant culture. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2013;305:F1504-12 pubmed publisher
  3. Burmeister M, Novak J, Liang M, Basu S, Ploder L, Hawes N, et al. Ocular retardation mouse caused by Chx10 homeobox null allele: impaired retinal progenitor proliferation and bipolar cell differentiation. Nat Genet. 1996;12:376-84 pubmed ..
  4. Foong J, Hirst C, Hao M, McKeown S, Boesmans W, Young H, et al. Changes in Nicotinic Neurotransmission during Enteric Nervous System Development. J Neurosci. 2015;35:7106-15 pubmed publisher
    ..This is the first study to investigate the development of cholinergic transmission in the ENS. ..
  5. Kamens H, McKinnon C, Li N, Helms M, Belknap J, Phillips T. The alpha 3 subunit gene of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is a candidate gene for ethanol stimulation. Genes Brain Behav. 2009;8:600-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Finally, the locomotor response to ethanol was examined in mice heterozygous for a null mutation of the alpha 3 nAChR subunit gene (Chrna3)...
  6. McCann C, Tapia J, Kim H, Coggan J, Lichtman J. Rapid and modifiable neurotransmitter receptor dynamics at a neuronal synapse in vivo. Nat Neurosci. 2008;11:807-15 pubmed publisher
    ..Therefore, neurotransmitter receptor dynamism associated with rapid changes in synaptic efficacy precedes long-lasting structural changes in synaptic connectivity. ..
  7. Teng Y, Rezvani K, De Biasi M. UBXN2A regulates nicotinic receptor degradation by modulating the E3 ligase activity of CHIP. Biochem Pharmacol. 2015;97:518-530 pubmed publisher
    ..Overall,we identify CHIP as an E3 ligase for α3 and UBXN2A as a protein that may efficiently regulate the stability of CHIP's client substrates. ..
  8. Gao Z, Mao C, Pan P, Mu X, Klein W. Transcriptome of Atoh7 retinal progenitor cells identifies new Atoh7-dependent regulatory genes for retinal ganglion cell formation. Dev Neurobiol. 2014;74:1123-40 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results expand current knowledge of the regulatory networks operating in Atoh7-expressing RPCs and offer new directions for exploring the earliest aspects of retinogenesis. ..
  9. Eng C, Kozak C, Beaudet A, Zoghbi H. Mapping of multiple subunits of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor to chromosome 15 in man and chromosome 9 in mouse. Genomics. 1991;9:278-82 pubmed
    The alpha 3, alpha 5, and beta 4 genes (human gene symbols CHRNA3, CHRNA5, and CHRNB4 respectively; mouse gene symbols Acra-3, Acra-5, and Acrb-4, respectively) are members of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family and are ..
  10. D Souza R, Vijayaraghavan S. Nicotinic receptor-mediated filtering of mitral cell responses to olfactory nerve inputs involves the ?3?4 subtype. J Neurosci. 2012;32:3261-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Based on our observations, we provide a mechanistic model for the sharpening of MC receptive fields by nAChRs, which could aid in odor discrimination and perceptual learning. ..
  11. Petrakis S, Irinopoulou T, Panagiotidis C, Engelstein R, Lindstrom J, Orr Urtreger A, et al. Cellular prion protein co-localizes with nAChR beta4 subunit in brain and gastrointestinal tract. Eur J Neurosci. 2008;27:612-20 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results suggest that PrP(C) is a member of a multiprotein membrane complex participating in the formation and function of alpha3beta4 nAChR. ..
  12. Arredondo J, Chernyavsky A, Marubio L, Beaudet A, Jolkovsky D, Pinkerton K, et al. Receptor-mediated tobacco toxicity: regulation of gene expression through alpha3beta2 nicotinic receptor in oral epithelial cells. Am J Pathol. 2005;166:597-613 pubmed
    ..This novel mechanism offers innovative solutions to ameliorate the tobacco-related cell damage and intercede in disease pathways, and may shed light on general mechanisms regulating and driving tobacco-related morbidity in human cells. ..
  13. Caffery P, Krishnaswamy A, Sanders T, Liu J, Hartlaub H, Klysik J, et al. Engineering neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors with functional sensitivity to alpha-bungarotoxin: a novel alpha3-knock-in mouse. Eur J Neurosci. 2009;30:2064-76 pubmed publisher
    ..As alphaBTX-sensitive sequences can be readily introduced into other nicotinic receptor subunits normally insensitive to alphaBTX, the findings described here should be applicable to many other receptors. ..
  14. Jackson K, Sanjakdar S, Muldoon P, McIntosh J, Damaj M. The ?3?4* nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtype mediates nicotine reward and physical nicotine withdrawal signs independently of the ?5 subunit in the mouse. Neuropharmacology. 2013;70:228-35 pubmed publisher
    ..The ?5 subunit is not required in the receptor assembly to mediate these effects. Our findings suggest an important role for the ?3?4* nAChR subtype in nicotine reward and physical aspects of the nicotine withdrawal syndrome. ..
  15. Salas R, Cook K, Bassetto L, De Biasi M. The alpha3 and beta4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits are necessary for nicotine-induced seizures and hypolocomotion in mice. Neuropharmacology. 2004;47:401-7 pubmed
    ..mRNA levels for the alpha5 and the beta4 subunits were unchanged in alpha3 +/- brains. Together, these results suggest that the beta4 and the alpha3 subunits are mediators of nicotine-induced seizures and hypolocomotion. ..
  16. Liljander M, Andersson A, Holmdahl R, Mattsson R. Increased litter size and super-ovulation rate in congenic C57BL mice carrying a polymorphic fragment of NFR/N origin at the Fecq4 locus of chromosome 9. Genet Res (Camb). 2009;91:259-65 pubmed publisher
    ..Genes of the cytochrome P450 family (1, 11 and 19), such as Cyp19a1, are assumed to be particularly interesting, since they are known to exhibit female-associated reproductive phenotypes, affecting the ovulation rate, if mutated. ..
  17. Muldoon P, Jackson K, Perez E, Harenza J, Molas S, Rais B, et al. The ?3?4* nicotinic ACh receptor subtype mediates physical dependence to morphine: mouse and human studies. Br J Pharmacol. 2014;171:3845-57 pubmed publisher
    ..In addition, two human datasets revealed a protective role for variants in the CHRNA3 gene, which codes for the ?3 nACh receptor subunit, in opioid dependence and withdrawal...
  18. De Biasi M, Nigro F, Xu W. Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the autonomic control of bladder function. Eur J Pharmacol. 2000;393:137-40 pubmed
    ..These findings suggest that nicotinic receptors containing the alpha(3) and the beta(4) subunits are necessary for normal bladder function. ..
  19. O Hara B, Macdonald E, Clegg D, Wiler S, Andretic R, Cao V, et al. Developmental changes in nicotinic receptor mRNAs and responses to nicotine in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and other brain regions. Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1999;66:71-82 pubmed
    ..In particular, a small 1.4 kb alpha2-related mRNA is highly expressed during early development, perhaps indicating an important novel function for this subunit. ..
  20. Drescher D, Khan K, Green G, Morley B, Beisel K, Kaul H, et al. Analysis of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits in the cochlea of the mouse. Comp Biochem Physiol C Pharmacol Toxicol Endocrinol. 1995;112:267-73 pubmed
    ..and beta 2,3 was amplified, whereas cDNA for muscle types alpha 1, gamma, delta and epsilon and neuronal types alpha 3,7 and beta 4 was not...
  21. Anand R, Lindstrom J. Chromosomal localization of seven neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes in humans. Genomics. 1992;13:962-7 pubmed
    ..localized to human chromosome 1, the alpha 2 and beta 3 subunit genes were localized to human chromosome 8, the alpha 3, alpha 5, and beta 4 subunit genes were localized to human chromosome 15, and the alpha 4 subunit gene was ..
  22. Bessis A, Simon Chazottes D, Devillers Thiery A, Guenet J, Changeux J. Chromosomal localization of the mouse genes coding for alpha 2, alpha 3, alpha 4 and beta 2 subunits of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. FEBS Lett. 1990;264:48-52 pubmed
    ..In this study, we show that the genes coding for the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha 2, alpha 3 and beta 2 subunits are dispersed on three different mouse chromosomes, viz. 14, 9 and 3 respectively...
  23. Xu W, Gelber S, Orr Urtreger A, Armstrong D, Lewis R, Ou C, et al. Megacystis, mydriasis, and ion channel defect in mice lacking the alpha3 neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999;96:5746-51 pubmed
    ..The phenotype in -/- mice may be similar to the rare human genetic disorder of megacystis-microcolon-intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome...
  24. Krishnaswamy A, Cooper E. An activity-dependent retrograde signal induces the expression of the high-affinity choline transporter in cholinergic neurons. Neuron. 2009;61:272-86 pubmed publisher
    ..Importantly, postsynaptic neurons must be continually active to maintain CHT in presynaptic terminals. ..
  25. Chakrabarty K, von Oerthel L, Hellemons A, Clotman F, Espana A, Groot Koerkamp M, et al. Genome wide expression profiling of the mesodiencephalic region identifies novel factors involved in early and late dopaminergic development. Biol Open. 2012;1:693-704 pubmed publisher
    ..Furthermore, we provide evidence of two divergent regulatory pathways resulting in the expression of Chrna6 and Chrnb3 respectively. ..
  26. Rudchenko A, Akude E, Cooper E. Synapses on sympathetic neurons and parasympathetic neurons differ in their vulnerability to diabetes. J Neurosci. 2014;34:8865-74 pubmed publisher
  27. Ciuraszkiewicz A, Schreibmayer W, Platzer D, Orr Urtreger A, Scholze P, Huck S. Single-channel properties of ?3?4, ?3?4?5 and ?3?4?2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mice lacking specific nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits. J Physiol. 2013;591:3271-88 pubmed publisher
    ..This study is the first to identify the single-channel properties of distinct neuronal nicotinic receptors in their native environment. ..
  28. Nagavarapu U, Boyd R. Distribution of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene restriction fragment length polymorphisms in inbred and partially inbred mice. Pharmacogenetics. 1995;5:326-31 pubmed
  29. Lykhmus O, Voytenko L, Koval L, Mykhalskiy S, Kholin V, Peschana K, et al. α7 Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-specific antibody induces inflammation and amyloid β42 accumulation in the mouse brain to impair memory. PLoS ONE. 2015;10:e0122706 pubmed publisher
  30. Campanucci V, Krishnaswamy A, Cooper E. Diabetes depresses synaptic transmission in sympathetic ganglia by inactivating nAChRs through a conserved intracellular cysteine residue. Neuron. 2010;66:827-34 pubmed publisher
    ..Our work suggests a new model for diabetic-induced dysautonomias and identifies ganglionic nAChRs as targets of hyperglycemia-induced downstream signals. ..
  31. Yu W, Guan Z, Nordberg A. Postnatal upregulation of alpha4 and alpha3 nicotinic receptor subunits in the brain of alpha7 nicotinic receptor-deficient mice. Neuroscience. 2007;146:1618-28 pubmed
    ..These data suggest that increased levels of alpha4, alpha3-containing nAChRs, co-assembled with the alpha5 nAChR subunit, may contribute to the normal brain development of alpha7 -/- and alpha7 +/- mice. ..
  32. Divya T, Lalitha S, Parvathy S, Subashini C, Sanalkumar R, Dhanesh S, et al. Regulation of Tlx3 by Pax6 is required for the restricted expression of Chrnα3 in Cerebellar Granule Neuron progenitors during development. Sci Rep. 2016;6:30337 pubmed publisher
  33. Shih P, Engle S, Oh G, Deshpande P, Puskar N, Lester H, et al. Differential expression and function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in subdivisions of medial habenula. J Neurosci. 2014;34:9789-802 pubmed publisher
    ..Last, we characterized rostral and dorsomedial IPN neurons that receive input from MHbVL axons. Together, our data provide new details regarding neurophysiology and nAChR localization and function in cells within the MHbV. ..
  34. Symons M, Weng J, Diehl E, Heo E, Kleiber M, Singh S. Delineation of the role of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes in alcohol preference in mice. Behav Genet. 2010;40:660-71 pubmed publisher
    ..This report explores the association between six nAChR subunit genes (Chrna3, Chrna4, Chrnb4, Chrnb2, Chrna5, and Chrna7) with alcohol preference (AP) using co-segregation of AP with nAChR ..
  35. Medel Y, Gardner P. Transcriptional repression by a conserved intronic sequence in the nicotinic receptor alpha3 subunit gene. J Biol Chem. 2007;282:19062-70 pubmed
    ..We propose that this intronic repressor element is important for the restricted expression patterns of the nicotinic receptor alpha3 and beta4 subunit genes. ..