Vesicular neurotransmitter transporter trafficking in vivo Moving from cells to flies

Fly (Impact Factor: 3.33). 10/2010; 4(4):302-5. DOI: 10.4161/fly.4.4.13305
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT During exocytosis, classical and amino acid neurotransmitters are released from the lumen of synaptic vesicles to allow signaling at the synapse. The storage of neurotransmitters in synaptic vesicles and other types of secretory vesicles requires the activity of specific vesicular transporters. Glutamate and monoamines such as dopamine are packaged by VGLUTs and VMATs respectively. Changes in the localization of either protein have the potential to up- or down regulate neurotransmitter release, and some of the mechanisms for sorting these proteins to secretory vesicles have been investigated in cultured cells in vitro. We have used Drosophila molecular genetic techniques to study vesicular transporter trafficking in an intact organism and have identified a motif required for localizing Drosophila VMAT (DVMAT) to synaptic vesicles in vivo. In contrast to DVMAT, large deletions of Drosophila VGLUT (DVGLUT) show relatively modest deficits in localizing to synaptic vesicles, suggesting that DVMAT and DVGLUT may undergo different modes of trafficking at the synapse. Further in vivo studies of DVMAT trafficking mutants will allow us to determine how changes in the localization of vesicular transporters affect the nervous system as a whole and complex behaviors mediated by aminergic circuits.

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Available from: Richard W Daniels, Mar 12, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Acetylcholine, the first chemical to be identified as a neurotransmitter, is packed in synaptic vesicles by the activity of VAChT (vesicular acetylcholine transporter). A decrease in VAChT expression has been reported in a number of diseases, and this has consequences for the amount of acetylcholine loaded in synaptic vesicles as well as for neurotransmitter release. Several genetically modified mice targeting the VAChT gene have been generated, providing novel models to understand how changes in VAChT affect transmitter release. A surprising finding is that most cholinergic neurons in the brain also can express a second type of vesicular neurotransmitter transporter that allows these neurons to secrete two distinct neurotransmitters. Thus a given neuron can use two neurotransmitters to regulate different physiological functions. In addition, recent data indicate that non-neuronal cells can also express the machinery used to synthesize and release acetylcholine. Some of these cells rely on VAChT to secrete acetylcholine with potential physiological consequences in the periphery. Hence novel functions for the oldest neurotransmitter known are emerging with the potential to provide new targets for the treatment of several pathological conditions.
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