Translocator Protein

Supporting information

The translocator protein (TSPO), previously known as the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor or PBR, is an 18 KDa protein that is ubiquitously expressed and localized to the outer mitochondrial membrane in eukaryotes. It was first identified in 1977 as a secondary binding site for benzodiazepines, but its function remains obscure. Crystal and NMR structures have revealed that the protein has some characteristics of both a transporter and a G-protein coupled receptor. Cholesterol, porphyrins and the naturally occurring polypeptide diazepam binding inhibitor (DBI) have been proposed as endogenous ligands for the protein.

TSPO has a role in the stress response, being induced by a diverse range of environmental stress conditions across many species, including inflammation and cancer in animals. Expression of TSPO is upregulated in the mitochondria of microglial cells when activated in response to inflammatory stimuli, so TSPO ligands have been proposed as imaging agents for neuroinflammatory conditions, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, as well as brain tumors. The protein also appears to be involved in steroidogenesis, as TSPO ligands promote steroid formation in adrenal, gonad, brain, placenta and liver tissues. Studies have additionally suggested a role for TSPO in the formation and function of adipocytes, so it is a potential target for therapy in type 2 diabetes and obesity.

To view external sources of pharmacological information for Translocator Protein, please click here: IUPHAR Receptor Code

View all products for Translocator Protein »
Gene Species Gene Symbol Gene Accession No. Protein Accession No.
Translocator Protein (TSPO) Human TSPO NM_007311 B1AH88
Mouse Tspo NM_009775 P50637
Rat Tspo NM_012515 P16257

Literature for Translocator Protein

Cancer Research Product Guide

A collection of over 750 products for cancer research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:

  • Cancer Metabolism
  • Epigenetics in Cancer
  • Receptor Signaling
  • Cell Cycle and DNA Damage Repair
  • Angiogenesis
  • Invasion and Metastasis
Request copy | Download PDF | View all Product Guides & Listings
Cancer Research Product Guide
Neurodegeneration Product Guide

A collection of over 275 products for neurodegeneration research, the guide includes research tools for the study of:

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Huntington's disease
Request copy | Download PDF | View all Product Guides & Listings
Neurodegeneration Product Guide

Quick Order

Find multiple products by catalog number

divider line

Cancer Research Product Guide

Cancer Research Product Guide

Our Cancer Research Guide highlights over 750 products for cancer research. Request copy or view PDF today.

divider line

Neurodegeneration Research Product Guide

Neurodegeneration Product Guide

Our Neurodegeneration guide highlights over 275 products for neurodegeneration research. Request copy or view PDF today.

divider line

Twitter Updates

Follow @Tocris on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter!

Tocris is now actively tweeting. For regular updates on news, events and special offers, follow @Tocris on Twitter.