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SLC18 family of vesicular amine transporters C

Unless otherwise stated all data on this page refer to the human proteins. Gene information is provided for human (Hs), mouse (Mm) and rat (Rn).


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The vesicular amine transporters (VATs) are putative 12 TM domain proteins that function to transport singly positively charged amine neurotransmitters and hormones from the cytoplasm and concentrate them within secretory vesicles. They function as amine/proton antiporters driven by secondary active transport utilizing the proton gradient established by a multi-subunit vacuolar ATPase that acidifies secretory vesicles (reviewed by [4]). The vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT; [8]) localizes to cholinergic neurons, but non-neuronal expression has also been claimed [12]. Vesicular monoamine transporter 1 (VMAT1, [6]) is mainly expressed in peripheral neuroendocrine cells, but most likely not in the CNS, whereas VMAT2 [7] distributes between both central and peripheral sympathetic monoaminergic neurones [5]. The vescular polyamine transporter (VPAT) is highly expressed in the lungs and placenta, with moderate expression in brain and testis, and with low expression in heart and skeletal muscle [9]. VPAT mediates vesicular accumulation of polyamines in mast cells [14].


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Targets of relevance to immunopharmacology are highlighted in blue

VMAT1 (Vesicular monoamine transporter 1 / SLC18A1) C Show summary »

VMAT2 (Vesicular monoamine transporter 2 / SLC18A2) C Show summary » More detailed page go icon to follow link

VAChT (Vesicular acetylcholine transporter / SLC18A3) C Show summary »

VPAT (Vesicular polyamine transporter / SLC18B1) Show summary » More detailed page go icon to follow link


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Further reading

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How to cite this family page

Database page citation:

SLC18 family of vesicular amine transporters. Accessed on 23/06/2024. IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY,

Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY citation:

Alexander SPH, Fabbro D, Kelly E, Mathie AA, Peters JA, Veale EL, Armstrong JF, Faccenda E, Harding SD, Davies JA et al. (2023) The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2023/24: Transporters. Br J Pharmacol. 180 Suppl 2:S374-469.