Abstracts - Speakers

First Annual Waggoner Center Advance - March 22, 2013

James Sahn, PhD

Research Assoicate, Texas Institute for Drug and Diagnostics Development

Sigma Receptors: Potential Therapeutic Targets For Substance Abuse

Sigma receptors perform a variety of functions, from regulating intracellular calcium concentration to modulating the activity of a range of neurotransmitter systems. The involvement of sigma receptors in the behavioral and addictive effects of psychostimulants and alcohol suggests these proteins could serve as molecular targets for the treatment of substance abuse. In a project aimed at discovering compounds with therapeutic potential, a library of novel, "drug-like" molecules was prepared and screened against a diverse array of receptors, resulting in the identification of potent and selective sigma receptor ligands. A subset of high-affinity sigma receptor binders possess desirable pharmacological binding profiles and structural features that make them good "leads" for in vivo studies aimed towards probing the effects of sigma receptor targeting on the actions of drugs of abuse.