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Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Feb;129(2):220-38. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2010.09.009. Epub 2010 Oct 15.

Regulation of monoamine transporters: Role of transporter phosphorylation.

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Department of Neurosciences, Division of Neuroscience Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.


Presynaptic biogenic amine transporters mediate reuptake of released amines from the synapse, thus regulating serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine neurotransmission. Medications utilized in the treatment of depression, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder and other psychiatric disorders possess high affinity for amine transporters. In addition, amine transporters are targets for psychostimulants. Altered expression of biogenic amine transporters has long been implicated in several psychiatric and degenerative disorders. Therefore, appropriate regulation and maintenance of biogenic amine transporter activity is critical for the maintenance of normal amine homoeostasis. Accumulating evidence suggests that cellular protein kinases and phosphatases regulate amine transporter expression, activity, trafficking and degradation. Amine transporters are phosphoproteins that undergo dynamic control under the influence of various kinase and phosphatase activities. This review presents a brief overview of the role of amine transporter phosphorylation in the regulation of amine transport in the normal and diseased brain. Understanding the molecular mechanisms by which phosphorylation events affect amine transporter activity is essential for understanding the contribution of transporter phosphorylation to the regulation of monoamine neurotransmission and for identifying potential new targets for the treatment of various brain diseases.

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