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J Biochem. 2004 Feb;135(2):155-63.

Glutamatergic chemical transmission: look! Here, there, and anywhere.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University, Okayama 700-8530.


Vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) is responsible for the active transport of L-glutamate in synaptic vesicles and thus plays an essential role in the glutamatergic chemical transmission in the central nervous system. VGLUT comprises three isoforms, VGLUT1, 2, and 3, and is a potential marker for the glutamatergic phenotype. Recent studies indicated that VGLUT is also expressed in non-neuronal cells, and localized with various organelles such as synaptic-like microvesicles in the pineal gland, and hormone-containing secretory granules in endocrine cells. L-Glutamate is stored in these organelles, secreted upon various forms of stimulation, and then acts as a paracrine-like modulator. Thus, VGLUTs highlight a novel framework of glutamatergic signaling and reveal its diverse modes of action.

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