Phylogenetic Analysis of the EAAT Family of Glutamate Transporters

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Glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Glutamate released from presynaptic terminals activates ionotropic and/or metabotropic glutamate receptors on postsynaptic (and sometimes on the presynaptic) terminals. After activation of glutamate receptors, the glutamate neurotransmitter must be cleared from the synaptic cleft to terminate the signal and prepare for another cycle of glutamate release. The timely clearance of the glutamate neurotransmitter from the synaptic cleft is achieved by the glutamate transporters on both neurons and astrocytes. The glutamate transporters are not only essential for normal development and function, but also implicated in stroke, epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases. Humans have five subtypes of glutamate transporters EAAT1 –EAAT5. In this study, we have we phylogenetically characterized the members of the EAAT family in the human genome and in the model organisms including nematode (C. elegans), fruit fly (D. melanogaster), zebrafish (Danio rerio) and mouse (Mus musculus).

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - May 10 2016

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