Binding site residues control inhibitor selectivity in the human norepinephrine transporter but not in the human dopamine transporter

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Jacob Andersen, Kristoffer B Ringsted, Benny Bang-Andersen, Kristian Strømgaard, Anders S Kristensen

The transporters for norepinephrine and dopamine (NET and DAT, respectively) constitute the molecular targets for recreational drugs and therapeutics used in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. Despite a strikingly similar amino acid sequence and predicted topology between these transporters, some inhibitors display a high degree of selectivity between NET and DAT. Here, a systematic mutational analysis of non-conserved residues within the extracellular entry pathway and the high affinity binding site in NET and DAT was performed to examine their role for selective inhibitor recognition. Changing the six diverging residues in the central binding site of NET to the complementary residues in DAT transferred a DAT-like pharmacology to NET, showing that non-conserved binding site residues in NET are critical determinants for inhibitor selectivity. In contrast, changing the equivalent residues in the central site of DAT to the corresponding residues in NET had modest effects on the same inhibitors, suggesting that non-conserved binding site residues in DAT play a minor role for selective inhibitor recognition. Our data points towards distinct structural determinants governing inhibitor selectivity in NET and DAT, and provide important new insight into the molecular basis for NET/DAT selectivity of therapeutic and recreational drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15650
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 156344077