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The regulated exocytosis that mediates chemical signaling at synapses requires mechanisms to coordinate the immediate response to stimulation with the recycling needed to sustain release. Two general classes of transporter contribute to release, one located on synaptic vesicles that loads them with transmitter, and a second at the plasma membrane that both terminates signaling and serves to recycle transmitter for subsequent rounds of release. Originally identified as the target of psychoactive drugs, these transport systems have important roles in transmitter release, but we are only beginning to understand their contribution to synaptic transmission, plasticity, behavior, and disease. Recent work has started to provide a structural basis for their activity, to characterize their trafficking and potential for regulation. The results indicate that far from the passive target of psychoactive drugs, neurotransmitter transporters undergo regulation that contributes to synaptic plasticity.