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Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Mar 25;655(1-3):16-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.01.014. Epub 2011 Jan 23.

Inhibition of isoflurane-induced increase of cell-surface redistribution and activity of glutamate transporter type 3 by serine 465 sequence-specific peptides.

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Department of Anesthesiology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Excitatory amino acid transporters (EAAT) transport glutamate into cells to regulate glutamate neurotransmission and to maintain nontoxic extracellular glutamate levels for neurons. We showed previously that the commonly used volatile anesthetic isoflurane increases the transporting activity of EAAT3, the major neuronal EAAT. This effect requires a protein kinase C (PKC) α-mediated and S465-dependent EAAT3 redistribution to the plasma membrane. Thus, we hypothesize that specific peptides can be designed to block this effect. We conjugated a 10-amino acid synthetic peptide with a sequence identical to that of EAAT3 around the S465 to a peptide that can facilitate permeation of the plasma membrane. This fusion peptide inhibited the isoflurane-increased EAAT3 activity and redistribution to the plasma membrane in C6 cells and hippocampus. It did not affect the basal EAAT3 activity. This peptide also attenuated isoflurane-induced increase of PKCα in the immunoprecipitates produced by an anti-EAAT3 antibody. A scrambled peptide that has the same amino acid composition as the S465 sequence-specific peptide but has a random sequence did not change the effects of isoflurane on EAAT3. The S465 sequence-specific peptide, but not the scrambled peptide, is a good PKCα substrate in in vitro assay. These peptides did not affect cell viability. These results, along with our previous findings, strongly suggest that PKCα interacts with EAAT3 to regulate its functions. The S465 sequence-specific peptide may interrupt this interaction and is an effective inhibitor for the regulation of EAAT3 activity and trafficking by PKCα and isoflurane.

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