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J Biol Chem. 2007 Jun 15;282(24):17837-44. Epub 2007 Apr 11.

chi-Conotoxin and tricyclic antidepressant interactions at the norepinephrine transporter define a new transporter model.

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  • 1Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.


Monoamine neurotransmitter transporters for norepinephrine (NE), dopamine and serotonin are important targets for antidepressants and analgesics. The conopeptide chi-MrIA is a noncompetitive and highly selective inhibitor of the NE transporter (NET) and is being developed as a novel intrathecal analgesic. We used site-directed mutagenesis to generate a suite of mutated transporters to identify two amino acids (Leu(469) and Glu(382)) that affected the affinity of chi-MrIA to inhibit [(3)H]NE uptake through human NET. Residues that increased the K(d) of a tricyclic antidepressant (nisoxetine) were also identified (Phe(207), Ser(225), His(296), Thr(381), and Asp(473)). Phe(207), Ser(225), His(296), and Thr(381) also affected the rate of NE transport without affecting NE K(m). In a new model of NET constructed from the bLeuT crystal structure, chi-MrIA-interacting residues were located at the mouth of the transporter near residues affecting the binding of small molecule inhibitors.

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