Trafficking of vesicular neurotransmitter transporters

Traffic. 2008 Sep;9(9):1425-36. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2008.00771.x. Epub 2008 May 26.


Vesicular neurotransmitter transporters are required for the storage of all classical and amino acid neurotransmitters in secretory vesicles. Transporter expression can influence neurotransmitter storage and release, and trafficking targets the transporters to different types of secretory vesicles. Vesicular transporters traffic to synaptic vesicles (SVs) as well as large dense core vesicles and are recycled to SVs at the nerve terminal. Some of the intrinsic signals for these trafficking events have been defined and include a dileucine motif present in multiple transporter subtypes, an acidic cluster in the neural isoform of the vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT) 2 and a polyproline motif in the vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) 1. The sorting of VMAT2 and the vesicular acetylcholine transporter to secretory vesicles is regulated by phosphorylation. In addition, VGLUT1 uses alternative endocytic pathways for recycling back to SVs following exocytosis. Regulation of these sorting events has the potential to influence synaptic transmission and behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism*
  • Neurotransmitter Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Secretory Vesicles / metabolism*
  • Secretory Vesicles / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Neurotransmitter Transport Proteins