Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 72 (3), 195-208 (1996)

Cellular and Molecular Aspects of Monoamine Neurotransmitter Transporters

Shigeo Kitayama and Toshihiro Dohi

Department of Pharmacology, Hiroshima University School of Dentistry, Kasumi 1-2-3, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734, Japan

Abstract: Neurotransmitter transporters terminate synaptic neurotransmission by accumulating neurotransmitters once again after release in a sodium- and chloride-dependent fashion. The availability of the cloned neurotransmitter transporters has allowed investigation into the roles of these transporters in neuronal function. Molecular biological and protein engineering studies including in vitro site-directed mutagenesis, chimera formation of several transporter clones, or epitope-tagging various regions of transporter proteins, have revealed the topology and functionally mapped the transporter proteins. Monoamine neurotransmitter transporters such as those for dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin are of interest, since they are a target of drugs of abuse and are involved in neuronal disorders including Parkinson's disease and depression. Therefore, elucidating the molecular basis of these transporters may clarify these problems and help develop treatments with which to combat these disorders and drug abuse.

Keywords: Neurotransmitter transporter, Monoamine, Antidepressant, Drug abuse, Parkinson's disease

Copyright© The Japanese Pharmacological Society 1996

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