Gustavo J Rodríguez

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States

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Publications (4)13.47 Total impact

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    Cody J Wenthur, Gustavo J Rodríguez, Charles P Kuntz, Eric L Barker
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    ABSTRACT: The serotonin transporter (SERT) regulates the serotonin concentration in the synapse and is a target of several antidepressant and psychostimulant drugs. Previous work suggested that the middle transmembrane helices (TMHs) of the biogenic amine transporters (TMHs) play a role in substrate and ion recognition. We focused our present studies on exploring the role of TMH VII in transporter function and ion recognition. Residues divergent between human SERT and Drosophila SERT (hSERT and dSERT, respectively) were identified and mutated in hSERT to the corresponding identity in dSERT. hSERT mutants V366S, M370L, S375A, and T381S exhibited a decrease in transport capacity. To further explore the role of these residues in the transport process, we generated cysteine mutants at multiple positions. Pretreatment with [2-(trimethylammonium)ethyl] methanethiosulfonate (MTSET) caused a decrease in transport of [(3)H]5-HT in the V366C and M370C mutants. The hSERT V366S, M370L, and M370C mutations also altered the sodium and chloride dependence for substrate transport. Interpretation of our results in the context of a homology model of SERT based on the crystal structure of the Aquifex aeolicus leucine transporter suggests flexibility in the conformation of TMH VII that impacts ion dependence and substrate transport.
    Biochemical pharmacology 11/2010; 80(9):1418-26. · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sodium-dependent transporters for dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin that regulate neurotransmission, also translocate the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)). Previous studies implicated residues in transmembrane helix (TMH) XI of DAT as important sites for MPP(+) transport. We examined the importance of TMH XI residues F551 and F556 for MPP(+) translocation by human SERT. Mutations at hSERT F556, but not F551, reduced both 5-HT and MPP(+) transport compared to wild type. However, F556S/hSERT showed a reduction in surface expression explaining the decrease of transport activity for 5-HT, but did not account for the decrease in MPP(+) transport observed. Cysteine mutants at those positions confirmed the accessibility of hSERT/F556 to different methanethiosulfonate (MTS) reagents, suggesting its presence in a hydrophilic environment of the protein. In the presence of MTSET, current induced by 5-HT and MPP(+) was inhibited at the F556C mutant. In agreement with our homology model of SERT, based on the leucine transporter (LeuT(Aa)) from Aquifex aeolicus structure, these results are consistent with the hypothesis that a portion of TMH XI lines the entrance into the substrate permeation pathway.
    Protein Science 10/2008; 17(10):1761-70. · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: One of the most prevalent disorders in present society is depression. The development of treatments for this disorder, beginning with the tricyclic antidepressants and leading to the development of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, has focused on compounds that block the function of the serotonin transporter (SERT). In this paper, we have performed Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA) using data generated from rat brain synaptosomes and heterologous expression systems expressing rat SERT. Using these models, we have described the molecular requirements for the interactions of antidepressants with SERTs. In addition, molecular studies were performed using chimeric human/Drosophila SERTs and SERT point mutants. These studies focused on identifying regions or discrete amino acids on SERT that may be responsible for recognizing antidepressants.
    European Journal of Pharmacology 11/2003; 479(1-3):53-63. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human and Drosophila serotonin transporters (hSERT and dSERT, respectively) were used to explore differences in substrate properties. hSERT and dSERT showed similar Km values for 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT; serotonin) transport (1.2 and 0.9 micro M, respectively), suggesting similar recognition of 5-HT by the two species variants. Although dSERT cell surface expression was approximately 8-fold lower than that of hSERT, dSERT does appear to have a 2-fold faster turnover number for inward transport of 5-HT. Interestingly, another substrate, N-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), was transported only by hSERT. However, MPP+ inhibited 5-HT uptake in both species variants with similar potencies. Two cross-species chimeras, H1-118D119-627 and H1-281D282-476H477-638, were also unable to transport MPP+, implicating the role of transmembrane domains V to IX in the substrate permeation pathway. Based on exchange experiments, certain substituted-amphetamines also appear to be poor substrates at dSERT. Two-electrode voltage-clamp studies in oocytes confirmed that the amphetamines do not possess substrate-like properties for dSERT. Our data suggest distinct molecular recognition among SERT substrate classes that influence translocation mechanisms.
    Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 08/2003; 306(1):338-46. · 3.89 Impact Factor