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Biosynthesis of Neurotransmitters

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For neuronal signal transduction, the presynaptic cell synthesizes neurotransmitters that then traverse the synaptic cleft. Neurotransmitters are signaling molecules used by neurons to communicate across chemical synapses. The receptors for neurotransmitters include GPCRs (G-Protein Coupled Receptors) and ligand-gated ion channels. The biogenic amines are neurotransmitters derived from amino acids, and include Dopamine, Epinephrine, GABA, Histamine and Serotonin. For each of these, decarboxylation of an amino acid is a key step. Amino acid decarboxylases are PLP-Schiff base with the substrate so as to stabilize the C-alpha carbanion formed upon C-alpha-COO- bond cleavage.

Formation of GABA and Histamine are one step processes. GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the most widespread inhibitory transmitter in the nervous system. It is synthesized through the decarboxylation of Glutamate [...]


1.Demonstration of functional coupling between gamma -aminobutyric acid (GABA) synthesis and vesicular GABA transport into synaptic vesicles.
Jin H, Wu H, Osterhaus G, Wei J, Davis K, Sha D, Floor E, Hsu CC, Kopke RD, Wu JY.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Apr 1;100(7):4293-8.
2.Histamine production via mast cell-independent induction of histidine decarboxylase in response to lipopolysaccharide and interleukin-1.
Wu X, Yoshida A, Sasano T, Iwakura Y, Endo Y.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2004 Apr;4(4):513-20.
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