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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 Dec;8(12):935-47.

Glutamate transporters: confining runaway excitation by shaping synaptic transmission.

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  • 1Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94107, USA.

Abstract

Traditionally, glutamate transporters have been viewed as membrane proteins that harness the electrochemical gradient to slowly transport glutamate from the extracellular space into glial cells. However, recent studies have shown that glutamate transporters on glial and neuronal membranes also rapidly bind released glutamate to shape synaptic transmission. In this Review, we summarize the properties of glutamate transporters that influence synaptic transmission and are subject to regulation and plasticity. We highlight how the diversity of glutamate-transporter function relates to transporter location, density and affinity.

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