The vesicular monoamine transporter 2 contains trafficking signals in both its N-glycosylation and C-terminal domains

Jia Yao, Louis B. Hersh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) and the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT) belong to the same transporter family that packages acetylcholine into synaptic vesicles (SVs) and biogenic amines into large dense core vesicles (LDCVs) and/or SVs, respectively. These transporters share similarities in sequence and structure with their N- and C-terminal domains located in the cytoplasm. When expressed in PC12 cells, VMAT2 localizes to LDCV, whereas VAChT is found mainly on synaptic-like microvesicles. Previous studies have shown that the cytoplasmic C-terminal domain of VAChT contains signals targeting this transporter to SVs. However, the targeting signals for VMAT have not been completely elucidated. To identify signals targeting VMAT2 to LDCV, the subcellular localization of VMAT2-VAChT chimeras was analyzed in PC12 cells. Chimeras having either the N-terminal region through transmembrane domain 2 of VMAT2 or the C-terminal domain of VMAT2 do not traffic to LDCV efficiently. In contrast, chimeras having both of these regions, or the luminal glycosylated loop in conjunction with transmembrane domains 1 and 2 and the C-terminal domain of VMAT2, traffic to LDCV. Treatment of PC12 cells with 1-deoxymannojirimycin, a specific alpha-mannosidase I inhibitor, causes VMAT2 to localize to synaptic-like microvesicles. The results indicate that both mature N-linked glycosylation and the C-terminus are important for proper trafficking of VMAT2 and that the locations of trafficking signals in VMAT2 and VAChT are surprisingly different.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1387-1396
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Glycosylation
  • PC12 cell
  • Trafficking
  • Vesicular acetylcholine transporter
  • Vesicular monoamine transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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