Author(s): Taubert D, Grimberg G, Stenzel W, Schmig E, Taubert D, Grimberg G, Stenzel W, Schmig E
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The etiology of neurodegenerative disorders, such as the accelerated loss of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease, is unclear. Current hypotheses suggest an abnormal function of the neuronal sodium-dependent dopamine transporter DAT to contribute to cell death in the dopaminergic system, but it has not been investigated whether sodium-independent amine transporters are implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By the use of a novel tandem-mass spectrometry-based substrate search technique, we have shown that the dopaminergic neuromodulators histidyl-proline diketopiperazine (cyclo(his-pro)) and salsolinol were the endogenous key substrates of the sodium-independent organic cation transporter OCT2. Quantitative real-time mRNA expression analysis revealed that OCT2 in contrast to its related transporters was preferentially expressed in the dopaminergic regions of the substantia nigra where it colocalized with DAT and tyrosine hydroxylase. By assessing cell viability with the MTT reduction assay, we found that salsolinol exhibited a selective toxicity toward OCT2-expressing cells that was prevented by cyclo(his-pro). A frequent genetic variant of OCT2 with the amino acid substitution R400C reduced the transport efficiency for the cytoprotective cyclo(his-pro) and thereby increased the susceptibility to salsolinol-induced cell death. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings indicate that the OCT2-regulated interplay between cyclo(his-pro) and salsolinol is crucial for nigral cell integrity and that a shift in transport efficiency may impact the risk of Parkinson's disease.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology