Ala and Gly substitutions for Pro 101 (P101) located in transmembrane domain 2 of the dopamine transporter (DAT) abolished transport activity but did not disrupt plasma membrane expression. Due to the high conservation of P101 in all neurotransmitter transporters and the capability of Pro to add flexibility to helices, we hypothesized that P101 contributes to the dynamic feature of substrate translocation. To test this hypothesis, here we analysed transport activity for DAT mutants where this Pro was mutated into different amino acids, including Ser, Val, Leu and Phe. The transmembrane domain 2 helix of P101F, unlike the other mutants, was computationally predicted to have a Van der Waals energy threefold higher than the wild-type helix. P101F mutant expression was consistently disrupted in COS cells. Among all the other mutants that express normally, P101V, with a side-chain size close to that of Pro, restores the transport activity of P101A by sevenfold. Most importantly, P101V, P101L and P101S display negative-dosage effects on dopamine (DA) transport, i.e. the velocity-concentration curve for DA uptake does not show a plateau with increasing [DA] but rather peaks and then goes down. These data support the view that P101 of DAT plays an essential role in DA translocation.
- Molecular modeling
- Monoamine transport
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience