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J Neurochem. 2009 Jan;108(1):176-89. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05757.x. Epub 2008 Nov 22.

Post-translational regulation of an Aplysia glutamate transporter during long-term facilitation.

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Department of Biology & Biochemistry, University of Houston, Science and Research II, Houston, Texas 77204-5001, USA.


Regulation of glutamate transporters accompanies plasticity of some glutamatergic synapses. The regulation of glutamate uptake at the Aplysia sensorimotor synapse during long-term facilitation (LTF) was investigated. Previously, increases in levels of ApGT1 (Aplysia glutamate transporter 1) in synaptic membranes were found to be related to long-term increases in glutamate uptake. In this study, we found that regulation of ApGT1 during LTF appears to occur post-translationally. Serotonin (5-HT) a transmitter that induces LTF did not increase synthesis of ApGT1. A pool of ApGT1 appears to exist in sensory neuron somata, which is transported to the terminals by axonal transport. Blocking the rough endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi-trans-Golgi network (TGN) pathway with Brefeldin A prevented the 5-HT-induced increase of ApGT1 in terminals. Also, 5-HT produced changes in post-translational modifications of ApGT1 as well as changes in the levels of an ApGT1-co-precipitating protein. These results suggest that regulation of trafficking of ApGT1 from the vesicular trafficking system (rough endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi-TGN) in the sensory neuron somata to the terminals by post-translational modifications and protein interactions appears to be the mechanism underlying the increase in ApGT1, and thus, glutamate uptake during memory formation.

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