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Motion of Individual Serotonin Transporter Molecules

July 2, 2012

In a process akin to belling an infinitesimal cat, scientists have managed to tag a protein that regulates the neurotransmitter serotonin with tiny fluorescent beads, allowing them to track the movements of single molecules for the first time.  The capability, which took nearly a decade to achieve, makes it possible to study the dynamics of serotonin regulation at a new level of detail, which is important because of the key role that serotonin plays in the regulation of mood, appetite and sleep.  The achievement was reported by an interdisciplinary team of Vanderbilt scientists in the June 27 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.  credit:  Vanderbilt University