Identification and characterization of the catecholamine transporter in bovine chromaffin granules using [3H]reserpine.

Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.65). 10/1984; 259(17):10907-12.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Characterization of the catecholamine transporter in chromaffin granule membranes has been hampered by the lack of a radioligand with high specific activity which binds selectively to the carrier with high affinity. We report here the identification of a high affinity binding site for [3H]reserpine on chromaffin granule membranes isolated from bovine adrenal gland which has the characteristics expected of the catecholamine transporter. [3H]Reserpine bound predominately to a high affinity site with a Kd for [3H]reserpine of 9 nM and a binding site density of 7.8 pmol/mg of protein. Comparison of the characteristics of the high affinity reserpine binding site to the characteristics of catecholamine transport indicated that (a) the Ki and rank order of potency for inhibition of [3H]reserpine binding by various biogenic amines was similar to their Ki for inhibition of catecholamine transport (b) both the inhibition of (-)-[3H]norepinephrine transport and inhibition of [3H]reserpine binding showed similar stereo-specificity, and (c) Kd for binding of reserpine to chromaffin granule membranes was similar to the Ki for reserpine inhibition of catecholamine transport. These results demonstrate that the high affinity binding site for [3H]reserpine on chromaffin granule membranes is associated with the catecholamine transporter.

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    ABSTRACT: Epinephrine-producing cells are characterized by the presence of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT), which catalyzes the formation of epinephrine from norepinephrine. We generated a line of transgenic mice carrying a chimeric gene containing human PNMT cDNA fused to the 4-kilobase fragment of the human dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) gene promoter, to switch catecholamine phenotype in the nervous and endocrine systems. Human PNMT transcripts and immunoreactivity were mainly detected in norepinephrine neurons in brain and sympathetic ganglion as well as in norepinephrine-producing cells in adrenal medulla of transgenic mice, indicating that the human DBH gene promoter of 4 kilobases is sufficient to direct expression of the gene in norepinephrine-producing cells. Analysis of catecholamines in the various tissues showed that the expression of human PNMT in transgenic mice induced the appearance of epinephrine in sympathetic ganglion and dramatic changes in norepinephrine and epinephrine levels in brain, adrenal gland, and blood. These results indicate that the additional PNMT expression in norepinephrine-producing cells can convert these cells to the epinephrine phenotype, and suggest that norepinephrine-producing cells normally possess the basic machinery required for the synthesis of epinephrine except for PNMT. Thus it appears that the only major difference between norepinephrine- and epinephrine-producing cells is the expression of PNMT. Our transgenic animals provide an experimental model to investigate the functional differences between norepinephrine and epinephrine.
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    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/1992; 89(20):9730-3. · 9.81 Impact Factor


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