Single molecule analysis of serotonin transporter regulation using antagonist-conjugated quantum dots reveals restricted, p38 MAPK-Dependent mobilization underlying uptake activation

Jerry C. Chang, Ian D. Tomlinson, Michael R. Warnement, Alessandro Ustione, Ana M.D. Carneiro, David W. Piston, Randy D. Blakely, Sandra J. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations

Abstract

The presynaptic serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT) is targeted by widely prescribed antidepressant medications. Altered SERT expression or regulation has been implicated in multiple neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety, depression and autism. Here, we implement a generalizable strategy that exploits antagonist-conjugated quantum dots (Qdots) to monitor, for the first time, single SERT proteins on the surface of serotonergic cells. We document two pools of SERT proteins defined by lateral mobility, one that exhibits relatively free diffusion, and a second, localized to cholesterol and GM1 ganglioside-enriched microdomains, that displays restricted mobility. Receptor-linked signaling pathways that enhance SERT activity mobilize transporters that, nonetheless, remain confined to membranemicrodomains. Mobilization of transporters arises from a p38 MAPK-dependent untethering of theSERTCterminus from the juxtamembrane actin cytoskeleton. Our studies establish the utility of ligand-conjugated Qdots for analysis of the behavior of single membrane proteins and reveal a physical basis for signaling-mediated SERT regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8919-8929
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume32
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 27 2012

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