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EMBO J. 1998 Jan 15;17(2):406-13.

The heterotrimeric G protein Go2 regulates catecholamine uptake by secretory vesicles.

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Institut für Anatomie der Charité, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany.


Secretory vesicles store neurotransmitters that are released by exocytosis. Their membrane contains transporters responsible for transmitter loading that are driven by an electrochemical proton gradient across the vesicle membrane. We have now examined whether uptake of noradrenaline is regulated by heterotrimeric G proteins. In streptolysin O-permeabilized PC 12 cells, GTP-analogues and AlF4- inhibited noradrenaline uptake, an effect that was sensitive to treatment with pertussis toxin. Inhibition of uptake was prevented by Galphao-specific antibodies and mimicked by purified activated Galphao2. No effect was seen when Galphao2 in its inactive GDP-bound form or purified activated Galphao1, Galphai1 and Galphai2 were tested. Down-regulation of uptake remained unchanged when exocytosis was inhibited by the light chain of tetanus toxin. Vesicular acidification was not affected whereas binding of [3H]reserpine was reduced by GTPgammaS and Galphao2. These data suggest that the monoamine transporter rather than the vacuolar ATPase is affected. We conclude that catecholamine uptake is controlled by Galphao2, suggesting a novel function for heterotrimeric G proteins in the control of neurotransmitter storage.

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