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solute carrier family 18 (vesicular monoamine), member 2
Symbol SLC18A2
Alt. Symbols VMAT2
Entrez 6571
HUGO 10935
OMIM 193001
RefSeq NM_003054
UniProt Q05940
Other data
Locus Chr. 10 q25

The Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 or VMAT2 is an integral membrane protein that acts to transport monoamines—particularly neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine,serotonin, and histamine—from cellular cytosol into synaptic vesicles.


Binding sites and ligands

One binding site is that of DTBZ. Lobeline binds at this site. At a distinct site dextroamphetamine binds. Its activity at VMAT2 is a crucial part of its monoamine releasing action.

Impairment and dysfunction

Cocaine users display a marked reduction in VMAT2 immunoreactivity. Sufferers of cocaine-induced mood disorders displayed a significant loss of VMAT2 immunoreactivity, this might reflect damage to striatal dopamine fibers. These neuronal changes could play a role in causing disordered mood and motivational processes in more severely addicted users.[1]

"God gene"

Geneticist Dean Hamer identified the VMAT2 gene as correlating with spirituality using data from a smoking survey, which included questions intended to measure "self-transcendence". Hamer performed the spirituality study on the side, independently of the National Cancer Institute smoking study. His findings were published in the mass-market book The God Gene: How Faith Is Hard-Wired Into Our Genes.[2][3] According to Carl Zimmer, Hamer's study has not been academically published and depends on a minor statistical variance.[4]

See also

  • God gene
  • Neurotheology


  1. ^ Little, Karley Y.; David M. Krolewski, Lian Zhang, Bader J. Cassin (2003-01-01). "Loss of striatal vesicular monoamine transporter protein (VMAT2) in human cocaine users". American journal of psychiatry 160: pp. 47-55. 10.1176/appi.ajp.160.1.47.
  2. ^ Day, Elizabeth (2004-11-15). 'God gene' discovered by scientist behind gay DNA theory. Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved on 2007-04-08.
  3. ^ Kluger, Jeffrey; Jeff Chu, Broward Liston, Maggie Sieger, Daniel Williams (2004-10-25). Is God in our genes?. TIME. Time Inc.. Retrieved on 2007-04-08.
  4. ^ Zimmer, Carl (October 2004). Faith-Boosting Genes: A search for the genetic basis of spirituality. Scientific American.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "VMAT2". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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