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J Neurosci Res. 2007 Nov 15;85(15):3359-66.

Role of aralar, the mitochondrial transporter of aspartate-glutamate, in brain N-acetylaspartate formation and Ca(2+) signaling in neuronal mitochondria.

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  • 1Departamento de Biología Molecular, Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma, 28049, Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain


Aralar, the Ca(2+)-dependent mitochondrial aspartate-glutamate carrier expressed in brain and skeletal muscle, is a member of the malate-aspartate NADH shuttle. Disrupting the gene for aralar, SLC25a12, in mice has enabled the discovery of two new roles of this carrier. On the one hand, it is required for synthesis of brain aspartate and N-acetylaspartate, a neuron-born metabolite that supplies acetate for myelin lipid synthesis; and on the other, it is essential for the transmission of small Ca(2+) signals to mitochondria via an increase in mitochondrial NADH.

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