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Probing dopamine transporter structure and function by Zn2+-site engineering

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The biogenic amine transporters belong to the class of Na+/Cl--coupled solute carriers and include the transporters for dopamine (DAT), norepinephrine (NET), and serotonin (SERT). These transporters are the primary targets for the action of many psychoactive compounds including the most commonly used antidepressants as well as widely abused drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines. In spite of their pharmacological importance, still little is known about their higher structural organization and the molecular mechanisms underlying the substrate translocation process. In this review, it will be described how we have used Zn2+-binding sites as a tool to probe the structure and function of Na+/Cl--coupled biogenic amine transporters with specific focus on the human DAT (hDAT). The work has not only led to the definition of the first structural constrains in the tertiary structure of this class of transporters, but also allowed inferences about conformational changes accompanying substrate translocation and residues critical for regulating the equilibrium between different functional states in the transport cycle.
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Udgave nummer1-3
Sider (fra-til)187-97
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 31 okt. 2003

ID: 47293584