Translocator protein (TSPO) is an 18 kDa protein, which is a member of the family of tryptophan-rich sensory proteins. It is mainly found in the outer mitochondrial membrane and can bind a number of benzodiazepine-like drugs, as well as to dicarboxylic tetrapyrrole intermediates of the haem biosynthetic pathway. It also involves the intramitochondrial cholesterol transport and bile acid biosynthesis.
|Basic Information of TSPO|
|Protein Name||Translocator protein|
|Aliases||Mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptor, PKBS, Peripheral-type benzodiazepine receptor, PBR, BZRP, MBR|
|Organism||Homo sapiens (Human)|
TSPO has been reported to participate in a variety of biological processes. In animals, it was firstly described as peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR). In the mitochondria, the protein participates in the transport of cholesterol into mitochondria through interacting with StAR (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein). However, the necessity of TSPO in cholesterol transport remains controversial because deletion of TSPO in steroidogenic Leydig cells doesn’t impair synthesis of the steroid testosterone. Besides, TSPO has been shown to regulate heart rate and contractile force by interacting with voltage-dependent calcium channels in cardiac myocytes, mediates apoptosis of thymocytes via reduction of mitochondrial transmembrane potential in lymphatic tissues. TSPO also involves the actions of immune cells, including regulating the oxidative bursts of neutrophils and macrophages, inhibiting the proliferation of lymphoid cells and secretion of cytokines. In the basal land plant Physcomitrella patens, TSPO functions a key role in adaptation to salt stress.
Fig.1 TSPO transcriptional regulation cross-talk between hormone- and redox-sensitive signal transduction pathways. (Gatliff, 2016)
This article reviews the main methodological aspects of TSPO PET imaging with particular attention to TSPO genetics, cellular heterogeneity.
This study indicates that TSPO is significantly upregulated by induction of neuroinflammation and injury, allowing TSPO to be a therapeutic mitochondrial metabolic target.
This research shows that TSPO is considered as a structural component of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) and is involved in the transport of cholesterol into mitochondria.
This review focuses on the interaction between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) and TSPO, which is involved in the regulation of cell mitophagy.
This minireview outlines the key studies from 25 years of TSPO research and indicates their limitations about the incorrect understanding of the association of TSPO and steroid hormone production.
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