Cleavage of the Vesicular Glutamate Transporters Under Excitotoxic Conditions

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr . Ben Bahr, William C. Friday Chair and Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
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Abstract: Glutamate is loaded into synaptic vesicles by vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs), and alterations in the transporters expression directly regulate neurotransmitter release. We investigated changes in VGLUT1 and VGLUT2 protein levels after ischemic and excitotoxic insults. The results show that VGLUT2 is cleaved by calpains after excitotoxic stimulation of hippocampal neurons with glutamate, whereas VGLUT1 is downregulated to a lower extent. VGLUT2 was also cleaved by calpains after oxygen/glucose deprivation (OGD), and downregulated after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and intrahippocampal injection of kainate. In contrast, VGLUT1 was not affected after OGD. Incubation of isolated synaptic vesicles with recombinant calpain also induced VGLUT2 cleavage, with a little effect observed for VGLUT1. N-terminal sequencing analysis showed that calpain cleaves VGLUT2 in the C-terminus, at Asn534 and Lys542. The truncated GFP-VGLUT2 forms were found to a great extent in non-synaptic regions along neurites, when compared to GFP-VGLUT2. These findings show that excitotoxic and ischemic insults downregulate VGLUT2, which is likely to affect glutamatergic transmission and cell death, especially in the neonatal period when the transporter is expressed at higher levels.

Additional Information

Neurobiology of Disease 44
Language: English
Date: 2011
Brain Ischemia, Vesicular Glutamate Transporters, Synaptic Vesicles, Excitotoxic Conditions, Excitotoxicity, Excitotoxic and Ischemic Insults, Calpains, Hippocampal Neurons, Oxygen and Glucose Deprivation, Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (MCAO)

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