Excitatory amino-acid carrier 1 (EAAC1) is a high-affinity Na+-dependent L-glutamate/D, L-aspartate cell-membrane transport protein. It is expressed in brain as well as several non-nervous tissues. In brain, EAAC1 is the primary neuronal glutamate transporter. It has a polarized distribution in cells and mainly functions perisynaptically to transport glutamate from the extracellular environment. In the kidney it is involved in renal acidic amino-acid re-absorption and amino-acid metabolism. Here we describe the identification and characterization of an EAAC1-associated protein, GTRAP3-18. Like EAAC1, GTRAP3-18 is expressed in numerous tissues. It localizes to the cell membrane and cytoplasm, and specifically interacts with carboxy-terminal intracellular domain of EAAC1. Increasing the expression of GTRAP3-18 in cells reduces EAAC1-mediated glutamate transport by lowering substrate affinity. The expression of GTRAP3-18 can be upregulated by retinoic acid, which results in a specific reduction of EAAC1-mediated glutamate transport. These studies show that glutamate transport proteins can be regulated potently and that GTRAP can modulate the transport functions ascribed to EAAC1. GTRAP3-18 may be important in regulating the metabolic function of EAAC1.
- Pub Date:
- March 2001