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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 1998 Aug;19(8):328-34.

Glutamate transporters are oxidant-vulnerable: a molecular link between oxidative and excitotoxic neurodegeneration?

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  • 1Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

Increasing evidence indicates that glutamate transporters are vulnerable to the action of biological oxidants, resulting in reduced uptake function. This effect could contribute to the build-up of neurotoxic extracellular glutamate levels, with major pathological consequences. Specific 'redox-sensing' elements, consisting of cysteine residues, have been identified in the structures of at least three transporter subtypes (GLT1, GLAST and EAAC1) and shown to regulate transport rate via thiol-disulphide redox interconversion. In this article, Davide Trotti, Niels Danbolt and Andrea Volterra discuss these findings in relation to the emerging view that in brain diseases oxidative and excitotoxic mechanisms might often operate in tight conjunction to induce neuronal damage. In particular, they review evidence suggesting a possible involvement of oxidative alterations of glutamate transporters in specific pathologies, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, brain trauma and ischaemia.

PMID:
9745361
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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