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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2006;(175):305-25.

Regulation of vesicular monoamine and glutamate transporters by vesicle-associated trimeric G proteins: new jobs for long-known signal transduction molecules.

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AG Funktionelle Zellbiologie, Institut für Integrative Neuroanatomie, Centrum für Anatomie, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Neurotransmitters of neurons and neuroendocrine cells are concentrated first in the cytosol and then in either small synaptic vesicles ofpresynaptic terminals or in secretory vesicles by the activity of specific transporters of the plasma and the vesicular membrane, respectively. In the central nervous system the postsynaptic response depends--amongst other parameters-on the amount of neurotransmitter stored in a given vesicle. Neurotransmitter packets (quanta) vary over a wide range which may be also due to a regulation of vesicular neurotransmitter filling. Vesicular filling is regulated by the availability of transmitter molecules in the cytoplasm, the amount of transporter molecules and an electrochemical proton-mediated gradient over the vesicular membrane. In addition, it is modulated by vesicle-associated heterotrimeric G proteins, Galphao2 and Galphaq. Galphao2 and Galphaq regulate vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT) activities in brain and platelets, respectively. Galphao2 also regulates vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) activity by changing its chloride dependence. It appears that the vesicular content activates the G protein, suggesting a signal transduction from the luminal site which might be mediated by a vesicular G protein-coupled receptor or as an alternative possibility by the transporter itself. Thus, G proteins control transmitter storage and thereby probablylink the regulation of the vesicular content to intracellular signal cascades.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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