Drosophila serotonin transporters have voltage-dependent uptake coupled to a serotonin-gated ion channel

Academic Article


  • Serotonin (5HT) transporters (SERTs) couple to existing ion gradients to transport 5HT into presynaptic terminals. In mammalian SERTs, the transport cycle is reported as electroneutral, with a translocation of zero net charge, and 5HT uptake is independent of membrane voltage. Yet mammalian SERTs exhibit 5HT-induced currents, and Drosophila SERTs (dSERTs) show voltage- dependent uptake. Thus, the relationship between uptake and current remains controversial; furthermore, the number of 5HT molecules translocated per ion channel event is unknown. To investigate this, we have used heterologous expression of cloned dSERTs to measure 5HT flux and dSERT currents concurrently under voltage clamp, and we have used fluctuation analysis to measure the size of the elementary ionic events in the same cells. RNA- injected Xenopus oocytes accumulate 5HT, and paroxetine or desipramine inhibit this uptake. RNA-injected oocytes also display paroxetine-sensitive 5HT-induced currents and 5HT-independent leak currents. Na replacement decreases the uptake and the induced currents. 5HT-induced current and 5HT uptake both increase at negative potentials, where 5HT carries ~5% of the induced current. Recently, several groups have reported similar phenomena for other transporters, in which transmitter-induced currents exceed the predictions of coupled transport. We now provide evidence that in dSERT, ~500 5HT molecules are translocated per channel opening, which, at -20 mV, carries ~10,000 electronic charges. These data support a model in which 500 SERT cycles occur for each 5HT-induced channel opening or a model in which 500 5HT molecules and 10,000 electronic charges pass through a common pore.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Galli A; Petersen CI; Deblaquiere M; Blakely RD; DeFelice LJ
  • Start Page

  • 3401
  • End Page

  • 3411
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 10