Sigma receptors are widespread in the central nervous system and across multiple peripheral tissues. σRs consist of sigma receptor one (σ1R) and sigma receptor two (σ2R) and are expressed in numerous regions of the brain. The sigma receptor was originally proposed as a subtype of opioid receptors and was suggested to contribute to the delusions and psychoses induced by benzomorphans such as SKF-10047 and pentazocine.
Studies confirmed that σRs are non-opioid receptors (not an µ opioid receptor) and play a more diverse role in intracellular signaling, apoptosis and metabolic regulation. σ1Rs are intracellular receptors acting as chaperone proteins that modulate Ca2+ signaling through the IP3 receptor. They dynamically translocate inside cells, hence are transmembrane proteins. The σ1R receptor, at the mitochondrial-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane, is responsible for mitochondrial metabolic regulation and promotes mitochondrial energy depletion and apoptosis.
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