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J Neurochem. 2003 Sep;86(5):1181-8.

Regulation of the glutamate transporter EAAT1 by the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-2 and the serum and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase isoforms SGK1/3 and protein kinase B.

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  • 1Department of Physiology I, University of Tübingen, Gmelinstrasse 5, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Surface expression of the glial glutamate transporter EAAT1 is stimulated by insulin-like growth factor 1 through activation of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase. Downstream targets include serum and glucocorticoid-sensitive kinase isoforms SGK1, SGK2 and SGK3, and protein kinase B. SGK1 regulates Nedd4-2, a ubiquitin ligase that prepares cell membrane proteins for degradation. To test whether Nedd4-2, SGK1, SGK3 and protein kinase B regulate EAAT1, cRNA encoding EAAT1 was injected into Xenopus oocytes with or without additional injection of wild-type Nedd4-2, constitutively active S422DSGK1, inactive K127NSGK1, wild-type SGK3 and/or constitutively active T308D,S473DPKB. Glutamate induces a current in Xenopus oocytes expressing EAAT1, but not in water-injected oocytes, which is decreased by co-expression of Nedd4-2, an effect reversed by additional co-expression of S422DSGK1, SGK3 and T308D,S473DPKB, but not K127NSGK1. Site-directed mutagenesis of the SGK1 phosphorylation sites in the Nedd4-2 protein (S382A,S468ANedd4-2) and in the EAAT1 protein (T482AEAAT1, T482DEAAT1) significantly blunts the effect of S422DSGK1. Moreover, the current is significantly larger in T482DEAAT1- than in T482AEAAT1-expressing oocytes, indicating that a negative charge mimicking phosphorylation at T482 increases transport. The experiments reveal a powerful novel mechanism that regulates the activity of EAAT1. This mechanism might participate in the regulation of neuronal excitability and glutamate transport in other tissues.

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