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Neuron. 1994 Apr;12(4):845-59.

Conducting states of a mammalian serotonin transporter.

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Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125.


We have studied permeation at a cloned rat 5-HT transporter expressed in Xenopus oocytes. [3H]5-HT uptake and [125I]RTI-55 binding yield a turnover rate of approximately 1/s that does not depend on membrane potential. However, in voltage-clamp experiments, three distinct currents results from 5-HT transporter expression. First, a steady-state, voltage-dependent transport-associated current is induced by 5-HT application. Second, a transient inward current is activated by voltage jumps to high negative potentials in the absence of 5-HT and is blocked by 5-HT itself. Third, a small leakage current is observed in the absence of 5-HT. All the observed currents are blocked by inhibitors of 5-HT uptake but are differentially affected by Na+, Li+, K+, Ba2+, Cs+, Cl-, and amiloride. The conducting states of the 5-HT transporter may reflect the existence of a permeation pathway similar to that of ionic channels.

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