Ethanol-sensitive sites on the human dopamine transporter

Rajani Maiya, Kari J. Buck, R. Adron Harris, R. Dayne Mayfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Previous studies have shown that ethanol enhanced [ 3H] dopamine uptake in Xenopus oocytes expressing the dopamine transporter (DAT). This increase in DAT activity was mirrored by an increase in the number of transporters expressed at the cell surface. In the present study, ethanol potentiated the function of DAT expressed in HeLa cells but inhibited the function of the related norepinephrine transporter (NET). Chimeras generated between DAT and NET were examined for ethanol sensitivity and demonstrated that a 76-amino acid region spanning transmembrane domains (TMD) 2 and 3 was essential for ethanol potentiation of DAT function. The second intracellular loop between TMD 2 and 3 of DAT, which differs from that of NET by four amino acids, was explored for possible sites of ethanol action. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to replace each of these residues in DAT with the corresponding residue in NET, and the resulting cRNA were expressed in Xenopus oocytes. We found that mutations G130T or I137F abolished ethanol potentiation of DAT function, whereas the mutations F123Y and L138F had no significant effect. These results identify novel sites in the second intracellular loop that are important for ethanol modulation of DAT activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30724-30729
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 23 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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