Regulation of dopamine transporter function and cell surface expression by D3 dopamine receptors

Agustin Zapata, Bronwyn Kivell, Yang Han, Jonathan A. Javitch, Elizabeth A. Bolan, David Kuraguntla, Vanaja Jaligam, Murat Oz, Lankupalle D. Jayanthi, Devadoss J. Samuvel, Sammanda Ramamoorthy, Toni S. Shippenberg

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89 Citations (Scopus)


D3 dopamine receptors are expressed by dopamine neurons and are implicated in the modulation of presynaptic dopamine neurotransmission. The mechanisms underlying this modulation remain ill defined. The dopamine transporter, which terminates dopamine transmission via reuptake of released neurotransmitter, is regulated by receptor- and second messenger-linked signaling pathways. Whether D3 receptors regulate dopamine transporter function is unknown. We addressed this issue using a fluorescent imaging technique that permits real time quantification of dopamine transporter function in living single cells. Accumulation of the fluorescent dopamine transporter substrate trans-4-[4-(dimethylamino)styryl]-1-methylpyridinium (ASP+) in human embryonic kidney cells expressing human dopamine transporter was saturable and temperature-dependent. In cells co-expressing dopamine transporter and D3 receptors, the D2/D3 agonist quinpirole produced a rapid, concentration- dependent, and pertussis toxin-sensitive increase of ASP+ uptake. Similar agonist effects were observed in Neuro2A cells and replicated in human embryonic kidney cells using a radioligand uptake assay in which binding to and activation of D3 receptors by [3H]dopamine was prevented. D3 receptor stimulation activated phosphoinositide 3-kinase and MAPK. Inhibition of either kinase prevented the quinpirole-induced increase in uptake. D3 receptor activation differentially affected dopamine transporter function and subcellular distribution depending on the duration of agonist exposure. Biotinylation experiments revealed that the rapid increase of uptake was associated with increased cell surface and decreased intracellular expression and increased dopamine transporter exocytosis. In contrast, prolonged agonist exposure reduced uptake and transporter cell surface expression. These results demonstrate that D3 receptors regulate dopamine transporter function and identify a novel mechanism by which D3 receptors regulate extracellular dopamine concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35842-35854
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - Dec 7 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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