Na+-dependent excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) are the major transport mechanisms for extracellular glutamate removal in the central nervous system (CNS). The primary function assigned to EAATs is the maintenance of low extracellular glutamate levels, thus allowing glutamate to be used as a signaling molecule in the brain and to avoid excitotoxicity. However, glutamate has other recognized functions. For instance, it is a key anaplerotic substrate for the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, as it can be converted to α-ketoglutarate by transaminases or glutamate dehydrogenase. Furthermore, glutamate is a precursor of the main antioxidant glutathione, which plays a pivotal role in preventing oxidative cell death. Therefore, glutamate signaling/use is at the crossroad of multiple metabolic pathways and accordingly, it can influence a plethora of cell functions, both in health and disease. Here, we provide an overview of the main functions of glutamate and its transport systems, analyzing its role as a neurotransmitter and at the same time, the possible metabolic fates it can undergo in the intracellular milieu. Specifically, the metabolic role of glutamate and the molecular machinery proposed to metabolically support its transport will be further analyzed.

Excitatory amino acid transporters (Eaats): Glutamate transport and beyond

Magi S.;Piccirillo S.;Amoroso S.;Lariccia V.
2019-01-01

Abstract

Na+-dependent excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) are the major transport mechanisms for extracellular glutamate removal in the central nervous system (CNS). The primary function assigned to EAATs is the maintenance of low extracellular glutamate levels, thus allowing glutamate to be used as a signaling molecule in the brain and to avoid excitotoxicity. However, glutamate has other recognized functions. For instance, it is a key anaplerotic substrate for the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, as it can be converted to α-ketoglutarate by transaminases or glutamate dehydrogenase. Furthermore, glutamate is a precursor of the main antioxidant glutathione, which plays a pivotal role in preventing oxidative cell death. Therefore, glutamate signaling/use is at the crossroad of multiple metabolic pathways and accordingly, it can influence a plethora of cell functions, both in health and disease. Here, we provide an overview of the main functions of glutamate and its transport systems, analyzing its role as a neurotransmitter and at the same time, the possible metabolic fates it can undergo in the intracellular milieu. Specifically, the metabolic role of glutamate and the molecular machinery proposed to metabolically support its transport will be further analyzed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/273468
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