Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the human norepinephrine transporter gene affect expression, trafficking, antidepressant interaction, and protein kinase C regulation.

Hahn MK, Mazei-Robison MS, Blakely RD
Mol Pharmacol. 2005 68 (2): 457-66

PMID: 15894713 · DOI:10.1124/mol.105.011270

The role of norepinephrine (NE) in attention, memory, affect, stress, heart rate, and blood pressure implicates NE in psychiatric and cardiovascular disease. The norepinephrine transporter (NET) mediates reuptake of released catecholamines, thus playing a role in the limitation of signaling strength in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human NET (hNET) gene that influence transporter function can contribute to disease, such as the nonfunctional transporter, A457P, identified in orthostatic intolerance. Here, we examine additional amino acid variants that have been identified but not characterized in populations that include cardiovascular phenotypes. Variant hNETs were expressed in COS-7 cells and were assayed for protein expression and trafficking using cell-surface biotinylation and Western blot analysis, transport of radiolabeled substrate, antagonist interaction, and regulation through protein kinase C (PKC)-linked pathways by the phorbol ester beta-phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate. We observed functional perturbations in 6 of the 10 mutants studied. Several variants were defective in trafficking and transport, with the most dramatic effect observed for A369P, which was completely devoid of the fully glycosylated form of transporter protein, was retained intracellularly, and lacked any transport activity. Furthermore, A369P and another trafficking variant, N292T, impeded surface expression of hNET when coexpressed. F528C demonstrated increased transport and, remarkably, exhibited both insensitivity to down-regulation by PKC and a decrease in potency for the tricyclic antidepressant desipramine. These findings reveal functional deficits that are likely to compromise NE signaling in SNP carriers in the population and identify key regions of NET contributing to transporter biosynthesis, activity, and regulation.

MeSH Terms (11)

Animals Antidepressive Agents Cercopithecus aethiops COS Cells Gene Expression Regulation Humans Norepinephrine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide Protein Kinase C Protein Transport Symporters

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