Project: Research project

Project Details


The dopamine transporter/cocaine receptor (DAT) is the site at which
cocaine experts rewarding/reinforcing effects and plays a central role
in termination of dopamine neurotransmission. This gene is expressed most
prominently in just those dopaminergic neurons most implicated in
cocaine's psychomotor stimulant effects. We have isolated genomic clones
of the human and mouse DAT genes that contain the 5' flanking sequences,
and have begun work to identify the promoter for this gene, in order to
provide means for selective overexpression of genes in just these
dopaminergic neuronal populations. This work also allows identification
and study of new gene polymorphisms that can serve as gene markers to
enhance power of genetic analysis of DAT roles in neuropsychiatric
disorders. Knowledge of the promoter and gene structure will allow
transgenic mice that have modified dopamine transporters or modified
expression of the genetic repertoire of dopaminergic neurons to be
studied as potential animal models for human substance abuse disorders.

Nearly complete human gene and partial mouse gene sequences have been
identified and characterized. A short human DAT promoter sequence appears
to drive expression of a reporter gene in dopaminergic neurons as well
as non-dopaminergic neurons of the brain.
StatusNot started


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