Protein kinase A affects trafficking of the vesicular monoamine transporters in PC12 cells

Jia Yao, Jeffrey D. Erickson, Louis B. Hersh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) is localized to both large dense core vesicles and synaptic vesicles in vivo. However, when exogenously expressed in PC12 cells, VMAT2 localizes only to large dense core vesicles. This distribution is similar to that of the endogenous vesicular monoamine transporter 1 (VMAT1) in PC12 cells. When VMAT2 was expressed in a protein kinase A (PKA)-deficient PC12 cell line it localized to synaptic-like microvesicles. Expression of recombinant VMAT1 in the same cell line showed a heterogeneous distribution to both large dense core vesicles and synaptic-like microvesicles. Coexpression of the PKA catalytic subunit partially restored trafficking of both VMAT2 and VMAT1 to large dense core vesicles; treatment of wild-type PC12 cells with the PKA inhibitor H89 increased VMAT2 on synaptic-like microvesicles. The VMAT1 and VMAT2 in large dense core vesicles exhibit a larger molecular size than those located on synaptic-like microvesicles. This difference is due to differential N-linked glycosylation. In vitro phosphorylation experiments show that PKA does not phosphorylate VMAT2. A chimera containing the VMAT2 cytoplasmic C-terminus fused to vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) shows mislocalization to synaptic-like microvesicles and VAChT-like glycosylation in the PKA-deficient cell line. However, coexpression with PKA changes the chimera's trafficking to large dense core vesicles and increases the molecular size. These results suggest that protein kinase A affects the formation and/or composition of VMAT trafficking complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1016
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Glycosylation
  • PC12 cell
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein kinase A
  • Trafficking
  • Vesicular monoamine transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Protein kinase A affects trafficking of the vesicular monoamine transporters in PC12 cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this