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solute carrier family 18 (vesicular monoamine), member 2
Alt. symbolsVMAT2
Other data
LocusChr. 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 and serotonin—from cellular cytosol into synaptic vesicles.

"God gene"

A study by the National Cancer Institute on over 200 subjects (including twins), has identified the VMAT2 gene to correlate to spirituality and religion. It was led by the geneticist Dean Hamer.[1][2]

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.[3]

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.


  1. Day, Elizabeth (2004-11-15). "'God gene' discovered by scientist behind gay DNA theory". Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  2. Kluger, Jeffrey (2004-10-25). "Is God in our genes?". TIME. Time Inc. Retrieved 2007-04-08. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  3. Little, Karley Y. (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. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)

See also

External link