RNA interference screen reveals an essential role of Nedd4-2 in dopamine transporter ubiquitination and endocytosis

Tatiana Sorkina, Manuel Miranda, Kalen R. Dionne, Brian R. Hoover, Nancy R. Zahniser, Alexander Sorkin

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The function of the dopamine transporter (DAT) to terminate dopamine neurotransmission is regulated by endocytic trafficking of DAT. To elucidate the mechanisms of DAT endocytosis, we generated a fully functional mutant of the human DAT in which a hemagglutinin epitope (HA) was incorporated into the second extracellular loop. The endocytosis assay, based on the uptake of an HA antibody, was designed to study constitutive- and protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent internalization of HA-DAT expressed in non-neuronal cells and rat dopaminergic neurons. Large-scale RNA interference analysis of PKC-dependent endocytosis of HA-DAT revealed the essential and specific role of an E3 ubiquitin ligase, Nedd4-2 (neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally downregulated 4-2), as well as the involvement of adaptor proteins present in clathrin-coated pits, such as epsin, Eps15 (epidermal growth factor pathway substrate clone 15), and Eps15R (Eps15-related protein). Depletion of Nedd4-2 resulted in a dramatic reduction of PKC-dependent ubiquitination of DAT. Endogenous Nedd4-2, epsin, and Eps15 were coimmunoprecipitated with heterologously expressed human HA-DAT and endogenous DAT isolated from rat striatum. A new mechanistic model of DAT endocytosis is proposed whereby the PKC-induced ubiquitination of DAT mediated by Nedd4-2 leads to interaction of DAT with adaptor proteins in coated pits and acceleration of DAT endocytosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8195-8205
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 2 2006


  • Dopamine transporter
  • Endocytosis
  • HA epitope tag
  • Nedd4-2
  • RNA interference
  • Ubiquitination


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