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Mol Pharmacol July 1, 2014; 86 (1): 76-85.

An N-terminal threonine mutation produces an efflux-favorable, sodium-primed conformation of the human dopamine transporter.

Fraser R , Chen Y , Guptaroy B , Luderman KD , Stokes SL , Beg A , DeFelice LJ , Gnegy ME .

The dopamine transporter (DAT) reversibly transports dopamine (DA) through a series of conformational transitions. Alanine (T62A) or aspartate (T62D) mutagenesis of Thr62 revealed T62D-human (h)DAT partitions in a predominately efflux-preferring conformation. Compared with wild-type (WT), T62D-hDAT exhibits reduced [(3)H]DA uptake and enhanced baseline DA efflux, whereas T62A-hDAT and WT-hDAT function in an influx-preferring conformation. We now interrogate the basis of the mutants'' altered function with respect to membrane conductance and Na(+) sensitivity. The hDAT constructs were expressed in Xenopus oocytes to investigate if heightened membrane potential would explain the efflux characteristics of T62D-hDAT. In the absence of substrate, all constructs displayed identical resting membrane potentials. Substrate-induced inward currents were present in oocytes expressing WT- and T62A-hDAT but not T62D-hDAT, suggesting equal bidirectional ion flow through T62D-hDAT. Utilization of the fluorescent DAT substrate ASP(+) [4-(4-(dimethylamino)styryl)-N-methylpyridinium] revealed that T62D-hDAT accumulates substrate in human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293 cells when the substrate is not subject to efflux. Extracellular sodium (Na(+) e) replacement was used to evaluate sodium gradient requirements for DAT transport functions. The EC50 for Na(+) e stimulation of [(3)H]DA uptake was identical in all constructs expressed in HEK-293 cells. As expected, decreasing [Na(+)]e stimulated [(3)H]DA efflux in WT- and T62A-hDAT cells. Conversely, the elevated [(3)H]DA efflux in T62D-hDAT cells was independent of Na(+) e and commensurate with [(3)H]DA efflux attained in WT-hDAT cells, either by removal of Na(+) e or by application of amphetamine. We conclude that T62D-hDAT represents an efflux-willing, Na(+)-primed orientation-possibly representing an experimental model of the conformational impact of amphetamine exposure to hDAT.

PubMed ID: 24753048
PMC ID: PMC4053999
Article link: Mol Pharmacol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: amph slc6a3

References [+] :
Carvelli, Dopamine transporters depolarize neurons by a channel mechanism. 2004, Pubmed