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J Neurosci. 2001 Nov 15;21(22):RC181.

The existence of a second vesicular glutamate transporter specifies subpopulations of glutamatergic neurons.

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Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U513, Faculté de Médecine, 94010 Créteil Cedex, France.


Before their exocytotic release during stimulation of nerve terminals, nonpeptide neurotransmitters are loaded into synaptic vesicles by specific transporters. Recently, a protein initially identified as brain-specific Na(+)-dependent inorganic phosphate transporter I (BNPI) has been shown to represent a vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT1). In this study, we investigated whether a highly homologous "differentiation-associated Na(+)-dependent inorganic phosphate transporter" (DNPI) is involved in glutamatergic transmission. Vesicles isolated from BON cells expressing recombinant DNPI accumulated l-glutamate with bioenergetical and pharmacological characteristics identical to those displayed by VGLUT1 and by brain synaptic vesicles. Moreover, DNPI localized to synaptic vesicles, at synapses exhibiting classical excitatory features. DNPI thus represents a novel vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT2). The distributions of each VGLUT transcript in brain were highly complementary, with only a partial regional and cellular overlap. At the protein level, we could only detect either VGLUT1- or VGLUT2-expressing presynaptic boutons. The existence of two VGLUTs thus defines distinct subsets of glutamatergic neurons.

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