Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 20;288(38):27534-44. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.441295. Epub 2013 Jul 24.

Membrane-permeable C-terminal dopamine transporter peptides attenuate amphetamine-evoked dopamine release.

Author information

From the Molecular Neuropharmacology Laboratory, Lundbeck Foundation Center for Biomembranes in Nanomedicine, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark.


The dopamine transporter (DAT) is responsible for sequestration of extracellular dopamine (DA). The psychostimulant amphetamine (AMPH) is a DAT substrate, which is actively transported into the nerve terminal, eliciting vesicular depletion and reversal of DA transport via DAT. Here, we investigate the role of the DAT C terminus in AMPH-evoked DA efflux using cell-permeant dominant-negative peptides. A peptide, which corresponded to the last 24 C-terminal residues of DAT (TAT-C24 DAT) and thereby contained the Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα) binding domain and the PSD-95/Discs-large/ZO-1 (PDZ)-binding sequence of DAT, was made membrane-permeable by fusing it to the cell membrane transduction domain of the HIV-1 Tat protein (TAT-C24WT). The ability of TAT-C24WT but not a scrambled peptide (TAT-C24Scr) to block the CaMKIIα-DAT interaction was supported by co-immunoprecipitation experiments in heterologous cells. In heterologous cells, we also found that TAT-C24WT, but not TAT-C24Scr, decreased AMPH-evoked 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium efflux. Moreover, chronoamperometric recordings in striatum revealed diminished AMPH-evoked DA efflux in mice preinjected with TAT-C24WT. Both in heterologous cells and in striatum, the peptide did not further inhibit efflux upon KN-93-mediated inhibition of CaMKIIα activity, consistent with a dominant-negative action preventing binding of CaMKIIα to the DAT C terminus. This was further supported by the ability of a peptide with perturbed PDZ-binding sequence, but preserved CaMKIIα binding (TAT-C24AAA), to diminish AMPH-evoked DA efflux in vivo to the same extent as TAT-C24WT. Finally, AMPH-induced locomotor hyperactivity was attenuated following systemic administration of TAT-C24WT but not TAT-C24Scr. Summarized, our findings substantiate that DAT C-terminal protein-protein interactions are critical for AMPH-evoked DA efflux and suggest that it may be possible to target protein-protein interactions to modulate transporter function and interfere with psychostimulant effects.


Addiction; Dopamine Transporter; Neurotransmitter Transport; Protein Kinases; Protein-Protein Interactions; Scaffold Proteins

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center