Pflügers Archiv

, Volume 447, Issue 5, pp 636–640

The vesicular amine transporter family (SLC18): amine/proton antiporters required for vesicular accumulation and regulated exocytotic secretion of monoamines and acetylcholine

  • Lee E. Eiden
  • Martin K.-H. Schäfer
  • Eberhard Weihe
  • Burkhard Schütz
The ABC of Solute Carriers Guest Editor: Matthias A. Hediger

DOI: 10.1007/s00424-003-1100-5

Cite this article as:
Eiden, L.E., Schäfer, M.KH., Weihe, E. et al. Pflugers Arch - Eur J Physiol (2004) 447: 636. doi:10.1007/s00424-003-1100-5

Abstract

The vesicular amine transporters (VATs) are expressed as integral proteins of the lipid bilayer membrane of secretory vesicles in neuronal and endocrine cells. Their function is to allow the transport of acetylcholine (by the vesicular acetylcholine transporter VAChT; SLC18A3) and biogenic amines (by the vesicular monoamine transporters VMAT1 and VMAT2; SLC18A1 and SLC18A2) into secretory vesicles, which then discharge them into the extracellular space by exocytosis. Transport of positively charged amines by members of the SLC18 family in all cases utilizes an electrochemical gradient across the vesicular membrane established by proton pumping into the vesicle via a vacuolar ATPase; the amine is accumulated in the vesicle at the expense of the proton gradient, at a ratio of one translocated amine per two translocated protons. The members of the SLC18 family have become important histochemical markers for chemical coding in neuroendocrine tissues and cells. The structural basis of their remarkable ability to transport positively charged amines against a very large concentration gradient, as well as potential disease association with impaired transporter function and expression, are under intense investigation.

Keywords

CholinergicAdrenergic/noradrenergicSerotoninergicHistaminergicAutonomic nervous systemPeripheral and central nervous system (PNS; CNS)NeuroendocrineMast cellAdrenal medullaBasophil cellsDendritic (Langerhans) cellsEndocrine tumorPancreatic beta cell (insulin cell)Platelet/thrombocyte

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag  2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee E. Eiden
    • 1
  • Martin K.-H. Schäfer
    • 2
  • Eberhard Weihe
    • 2
  • Burkhard Schütz
    • 3
  1. 1.Section on Molecular Neuroscience, Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular RegulationNational Institute of Mental Health, Building 36, Room 2A-11BethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Molecular Neuroscience, Institute of Anatomy and Cell BiologyPhilipps UniversityMarburgGermany
  3. 3.Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Clinic for Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany