Serotonin transporter phosphorylation modulated by tetanus toxin

Abderrahim Najib, Patricia Pelliccioni, Carles Gil, José Aguilera*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Tetanus toxin (TeTx) modifies Na+-dependent, high-affinity 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) uptake in a synaptosomal-enriched P2 fraction from rat brain. The effect corresponds to a rapid and non-competitive uptake inhibition, and it is preceded by induction of phospholipase C (PLC) activity and translocation and down-regulation of the classical protein kinase C (PKC-α, -β and -γ) isoforms. The effects on serotonin transport and on cPKC activation were similar to the effects exhibited by phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA). Moreover, after treatment with TeTx, an increase in Ser- and Tyr-specific phosphorylation was found. Activation of PKC by both TeTx and TPA results in a loss of transport capacity and serotonin transporter (SERT) phosphorylation, which are abolished by coapplication of the specific PKC inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide-1. Since a specific PLCγ1 phosphorylation prior to TeTx's inducing SERT phosphorylation was found, the studies suggest that part of the action of TeTx consists of modifying the signal cascade initiated in tyrosine kinase receptors on nerve tissue previous to its cellular internalization, resulting in transporter phosphorylation. (C) 2000 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-142
JournalFEBS Letters
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2000


  • Phospholipase Cγ1
  • Protein kinase C
  • Rat brain
  • Serotonin transporter
  • Synaptosome
  • Tetanus toxin


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