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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041177

Structure-Function Relationship of Transporters in the Glutamate–Glutamine Cycle of the Central Nervous System

School of Medicine, International University of Health and Welfare, 4-3 Kozunomori, Narita, Chiba 286-8686, Japan
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 10 April 2018 / Published: 12 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino Acids Transport and Metabolism)
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Abstract

Many kinds of transporters contribute to glutamatergic excitatory synaptic transmission. Glutamate is loaded into synaptic vesicles by vesicular glutamate transporters to be released from presynaptic terminals. After synaptic vesicle release, glutamate is taken up by neurons or astrocytes to terminate the signal and to prepare for the next signal. Glutamate transporters on the plasma membrane are responsible for transporting glutamate from extracellular fluid to cytoplasm. Glutamate taken up by astrocyte is converted to glutamine by glutamine synthetase and transported back to neurons through glutamine transporters on the plasma membranes of the astrocytes and then on neurons. Glutamine is converted back to glutamate by glutaminase in the neuronal cytoplasm and then loaded into synaptic vesicles again. Here, the structures of glutamate transporters and glutamine transporters, their conformational changes, and how they use electrochemical gradients of various ions for substrate transport are summarized. Pharmacological regulations of these transporters are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: glutamate transporter; vesicular glutamate transporter; glutamine transporter; astrocyte; neuron glutamate transporter; vesicular glutamate transporter; glutamine transporter; astrocyte; neuron
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Hayashi, M.K. Structure-Function Relationship of Transporters in the Glutamate–Glutamine Cycle of the Central Nervous System. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 1177.

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