Vesicular acetylcholine transporters (VAChTs) are members of the solute carrier family 18 (SLC18) of ATP-dependent transporters that also includes vesicular monoamine transporters (VMAT) 1 and VMAT2. VAChT is found in the central and peripheral nervous systems in cholinergic pre-synaptic vesicle membranes of cholinergic neurons, where it is responsible for maintaining the concentration of acetylcholine (ACh).
Cholinergic synaptic vesicles contain a H+-ATPase, which creates an electrical gradient across the vesicular membrane. VAChT acts as an ACh-H+ antiporter to facilitate the uptake of ACh. Interestingly, the VAChT gene is located within the first intron of the choline acetyltransferase gene (ChAT), the enzyme that catalyzes ACh synthesis from choline and acetyl coenzyme A. This may be to allow co-ordinated regulation of the two proteins.
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Literature for Acetylcholine Transporters
Updated in 2014, this review summarizes the diverse structure and function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and gives an in-depth review of the ligands available for nAChR research. Compounds available from Tocris are listed.Request copy | Download PDF | View all reviews