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, 26 (7), 341-8

The Changing Landscape in Translocator Protein (TSPO) Function


The Changing Landscape in Translocator Protein (TSPO) Function

Vimal Selvaraj et al. Trends Endocrinol Metab.


Translocator protein (TSPO), previously known as the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR), is an outer mitochondrial membrane protein. TSPO has been shown to cooperate with steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) and function in the transport of cholesterol into mitochondria. TSPO has also been considered as a structural component of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP). However, recent advances have changed these views of TSPO's functions and have prompted a re-evaluation of established concepts. This review summarizes the history of TSPO, key elements of the debate, and functional experiments that have changed our understanding. Moving forward, we examine how this fundamental change impacts our understanding of TSPO and affects the future of TSPO as a therapeutic and diagnostic target.

Keywords: benzodiazepine; cholesterol; mitochondria; permeability transition; steroid hormone; therapy.

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