Transport direction determines the kinetics of substrate transport by the glutamate transporter EAAC1.
ABSTRACT: Glutamate transport by the excitatory amino acid carrier EAAC1 is known to be reversible. Thus, glutamate can either be taken up into cells, or it can be released from cells through reverse transport, depending on the electrochemical gradient of the co- and countertransported ions. However, it is unknown how fast and by which reverse transport mechanism glutamate can be released from cells. Here, we determined the steady- and pre-steady-state kinetics of reverse glutamate transport with submillisecond time resolution. First, our results suggest that glutamate and Na(+) dissociate from their cytoplasmic binding sites sequentially, with glutamate dissociating first, followed by the three cotransported Na(+) ions. Second, the kinetics of glutamate transport depend strongly on transport direction, with reverse transport being faster but less voltage-dependent than forward transport. Third, electrogenicity is distributed over several reverse transport steps, including intracellular Na(+) binding, reverse translocation, and reverse relocation of the K(+)-bound EAAC1. We propose a kinetic model, which is based on a "first-in-first-out" mechanism, suggesting that glutamate association, with its extracellular binding site as well as dissociation from its intracellular binding site, precedes association and dissociation of at least one Na(+) ion. Our model can be used to predict rates of glutamate release from neurons under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.
Project description:The neuronal glutamate transporter EAAC1 contains several conserved acidic amino acids in its transmembrane domain, which are possibly important in catalyzing transport and/or binding of co/countertransported cations. Here, we have studied the effects of neutralization by site-directed mutagenesis of three of these amino acid side chains, glutamate 373, aspartate 439, and aspartate 454, on the functional properties of the transporter. Transport was analyzed by whole-cell current recording from EAAC1-expressing mammalian cells after applying jumps in voltage, substrate, or cation concentration. Neutralization mutations in positions 373 and 454, although eliminating steady-state glutamate transport, have little effect on the kinetics and thermodynamics of Na(+) and glutamate binding, suggesting that these two positions do not constitute the sites of Na(+) and glutamate association with EAAC1. In contrast, the D439N mutation resulted in an approximately 10-fold decrease of apparent affinity of the glutamate-bound transporter form for Na(+), and an approximately 2,000-fold reduction in the rate of Na(+) binding, whereas the kinetics and thermodynamics of Na(+) binding to the glutamate-free transporter were almost unchanged compared to EAAC1(WT). Furthermore, the D439N mutation converted l-glutamate, THA, and PDC, which are activating substrates for the wild-type anion conductance, but not l-aspartate, into transient inhibitors of the EAAC1(D439) anion conductance. Activation of the anion conductance by l-glutamate was biphasic, allowing us to directly analyze binding of two of the three cotransported Na(+) ions as a function of time and [Na(+)]. The data can be explained with a model in which the D439N mutation results in a dramatic slowing of Na(+) binding and a reduced affinity of the substrate-bound EAAC1 for Na(+). We propose that the bound substrate controls the rate and the extent of Na(+) interaction with the transporter, depending on the amino acid side chain in position 439.
Project description:The glutamate transporter excitatory amino acid carrier 1 (EAAC1) catalyzes the co-transport of three Na(+) ions, one H(+) ion, and one glutamate molecule into the cell, in exchange for one K(+) ion. Na(+) binding to the glutamate-free form of the transporter generates a high affinity binding site for glutamate and is thus required for transport. Moreover, sodium binding to the transporters induces a basal anion conductance, which is further activated by glutamate. Here, we used the [Na(+)] dependence of this conductance as a read-out of Na(+) binding to the substrate-free transporter to study the impact of a highly conserved amino acid residue, Thr(101), in transmembrane domain 3. The apparent affinity of substrate-free EAAC1 for Na(+) was dramatically decreased by the T101A but not by the T101S mutation. Interestingly, in further contrast to EAAC1(WT), in the T101A mutant this [Na(+)] dependence was biphasic. This behavior can be explained by assuming that the binding of two Na(+) ions prior to glutamate binding is required to generate a high affinity substrate binding site. In contrast to the dramatic effect of the T101A mutation on Na(+) binding, other properties of the transporter, such as its ability to transport glutamate, were impaired but not eliminated. Our results are consistent with the existence of a cation binding site deeply buried in the membrane and involving interactions with the side chain oxygens of Thr(101) and Asp(367). A theoretical valence screening approach confirms that the predicted site of cation interaction has the potential to be a novel, so far undetected sodium binding site.
Project description:Substrate transport by glutamate transporters is coupled to the co-transport of 3 Na(+) ions and counter-transport of 1 K(+) ion. The highly conserved Asp454, which may be negatively charged, is of interest as its side chain may coordinate cations and/or contribute to charge compensation. Mutation to the nonionizable Asn resulted in a transporter that no longer catalyzed forward transport. However, Na(+)/glutamate exchange was still functional, as demonstrated by the presence of transient currents following rapid substrate application and voltage jumps. While the kinetics of Na(+)/glutamate exchange were slowed, the apparent valence (z) of the charge moved in EAAC1 D454N (0.71) was similar to that of EAAC1 WT (0.64). Valences calculated using the Poisson-Boltzmann equation were close to the experimental values for EAAC1 D454N (0.55), and with D454 protonated (0.45). In addition, pK(a) calculations performed for the bacterial homologue GltPh revealed a highly perturbed pK(a) (7.6 to >14) for D405 residue (analogous to D454), consistent with this site being protonated at physiological pH. In contrast to the D454N mutation, substitution to alanine resulted in a transporter that still bound glutamate, but could not translocate it. The results are consistent with molecular dynamics simulations, showing that the alanine but not the asparagine mutation resulted in defective Na(+) coordination. Our results raise the possibility that the protonated state of D454 supports transporter function.
Project description:The glutamate transport system of the bovine renal epithelial cell line NBL-1 was studied. The Km for Na(+)-dependent glutamate transport was found to be 13.8 +/- 2.4 microM (Vmax. 365 +/- 19.2 pmol/3 min per mg) and for Na(+)-dependent aspartate transport 4.5 +/- 1.1 microM (Vmax. 108 +/- 6.3 pmol/3 min per mg). The Km values are in close agreement with those expected for high-affinity Na(+)-dependent glutamate transport by System XAG-. Upon deprivation of amino acids, the Vmax. for Na+/aspartate co-transport rose to 203 +/- 6.0 pmol/3 min per mg (Km 3.8 +/- 0.5 microns). A probe was constructed to the high-affinity excitatory amino acid carrier (EAAC1) [Kanai and Hediger (1992) Nature (London) 360, 467-471]. The probe hybridized to a 3.5 kb transcript. On deprivation of amino acids, the level of EAAC1 mRNA decreased sharply before the measurable increase in transport levels, but was subsequently restored to control levels. A motif, which we propose is linked to amino acid deprivation, was found in the EAAC1 primary sequence.
Project description:Glutamate transporters actively take up glutamate into the cell, driven by the co-transport of sodium ions down their transmembrane concentration gradient. It was proposed that glutamate binds to its binding site and is subsequently transported across the membrane in the negatively charged form. With the glutamate binding site being located partially within the membrane domain, the possibility has to be considered that glutamate binding is dependent on the transmembrane potential and, thus, is electrogenic. Experiments presented in this report test this possibility. Rapid application of glutamate to the wild-type glutamate transporter subtype EAAC1 (excitatory amino acid carrier 1) through photo-release from caged glutamate generated a transient inward current, as expected for the electrogenic inward movement of co-transported Na(+) In contrast, glutamate application to a transporter with the mutation A334E induced transient outward current, consistent with movement of negatively charged glutamate into its binding site within the dielectric of the membrane. These results are in agreement with electrostatic calculations, predicting a valence for glutamate binding of -0.27. Control experiments further validate and rule out other possible explanations for the transient outward current. Electrogenic glutamate binding can be isolated in the mutant glutamate transporter because reactions, such as glutamate translocation and/or Na(+) binding to the glutamate-bound state, are inhibited by the A334E substitution. Electrogenic glutamate binding has to be considered together with other voltage-dependent partial reactions to cooperatively determine the voltage dependence of steady-state glutamate uptake and glutamate buffering at the synapse.
Project description:Prostate epithelial cells accumulate a high level of aspartate that is utilized as a substrate for their unique function of production and secretion of enormously high levels of citrate. In most mammalian cells aspartate is synthesized; and, therefore is a non-essential amino acid. In contrast, in citrate-producing prostate cells, aspartate is an essential amino acid that must be derived from circulation. The prostate intracellular/extracellular conditions present a 40:1 concentration gradient. Therefore, these cells must possess a plasma membrane-associated aspartate uptake transport process to achieve their functional activity. In earlier kinetic studies we identified the existence of a unique Na+-dependent high-affinity L-aspartate transport process in rat prostate secretory epithelial cells. The present report is concerned with the identification of this putative L-aspartate transporter in rat and human prostate cells.The studies show for the first time that EAAC1 is expressed in normal rat prostate epithelial cells, in normal and hyperplastic human prostate glands, and in human malignant prostate cell lines. EAAC1 expression and high-affinity L-aspartate transport are correspondingly down-regulated by EAAC1 siRNA knock down. Exposure of prostate cells to physiological levels of prolactin or testosterone results in an up-regulation of EAAC1 expression and a corresponding increase in the high-affinity transport of L-aspartate into the cells.This study shows that EAAC1 functions as the high-affinity L-aspartate transporter that is responsible for the uptake and accumulation of aspartate in prostate cells. In other cells (predominantly excitable tissue cells), EAAC1 has been reported to function as a glutamate transporter rather than as an aspartate transporter. The regulation of EAAC1 expression and L-aspartate transport by testosterone and prolactin is consistent with their regulation of citrate production in prostate cells. The identification of EAAC1 as the high-affinity L-aspartate transporter now permits studies to elucidate the mechanism of hormonal regulation of EAAC1 gene expression, and to investigate the mechanism by which the cellular environment effects the functioning of EAAC1 as an aspartate transporter or as a glutamate transporter.
Project description:Glutamate is emerging as a major factor stimulating energy production in CNS. Brain mitochondria can utilize this neurotransmitter as respiratory substrate and specific transporters are required to mediate the glutamate entry into the mitochondrial matrix. Glutamate transporters of the Excitatory Amino Acid Transporters (EAATs) family have been previously well characterized on the cell surface of neuronal and glial cells, representing the primary players for glutamate uptake in mammalian brain. Here, by using western blot, confocal microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy, we report for the first time that the Excitatory Amino Acid Carrier 1 (EAAC1), an EAATs member, is expressed in neuronal and glial mitochondria where it participates in glutamate-stimulated ATP production, evaluated by a luciferase-luciferin system. Mitochondrial metabolic response is counteracted when different EAATs pharmacological blockers or selective EAAC1 antisense oligonucleotides were used. Since EAATs are Na(+)-dependent proteins, this raised the possibility that other transporters regulating ion gradients across mitochondrial membrane were required for glutamate response. We describe colocalization, mutual activity dependency, physical interaction between EAAC1 and the sodium/calcium exchanger 1 (NCX1) both in neuronal and glial mitochondria, and that NCX1 is an essential modulator of this glutamate transporter. Only NCX1 activity is crucial for such glutamate-stimulated ATP synthesis, as demonstrated by pharmacological blockade and selective knock-down with antisense oligonucleotides. The EAAC1/NCX1-dependent mitochondrial response to glutamate may be a general and alternative mechanism whereby this neurotransmitter sustains ATP production, since we have documented such metabolic response also in mitochondria isolated from heart. The data reported here disclose a new physiological role for mitochondrial NCX1 as the key player in glutamate-induced energy production.
Project description:The rat hepatoma cell line H4-II-E was found to express much higher activities of Na+-dependent glutamine and aspartate transport than those observed in normal cultured hepatocytes, in agreement with previous work of others on human hepatocytes. Na+-dependent glutamine transport in rat hepatoma cells could be resolved into two components. One was pH-dependent, tolerated Li+ for Na+ substitution and was inhibited only by asparagine and histidine; characteristics similar to those of transport System N in hepatocytes. The other transport system had a similar Km for glutamine but was pH independent, did not accept Li+ ions and was completely inhibited by excess concentrations of lysine, histidine, leucine, serine and cysteine, but not by methyl-aminoisobutyrate or phenylalanine. This pattern of inhibition is distinct from that of any transporter occurring in normal hepatocytes and may indicate the presence of a new transporter isoform. Similar results were obtained with the cell line HTC. Na+-dependent aspartate transport in H4 hepatoma cells was mediated by a high-affinity system (Km 5 microM) and was inhibited by D-aspartate and L-glutamate but not by d-glutamate-properties characteristic of the high-affinity glutamate transporter EAAC1. C-terminal antibodies to the EAAC1 protein recognized a single band of 58 kDa in hepatocyte membranes, but an additional strong band of 60 kDa was present in H4 hepatoma cells. These results provide further evidence for the view that tumour cells may express additional isoforms of amino acid transport systems which are not present in non-transformed cells.
Project description:Glutamate transporters are thought to be assembled as trimers of identical subunits that line a central hole, possibly the permeation pathway for anions. Here, we have tested the effect of multimerization on the transporter function. To do so, we coexpressed EAAC1(WT) with the mutant transporter EAAC1(R446Q), which transports glutamine but not glutamate. Application of 50 microM glutamate or 50 microM glutamine to cells coexpressing similar numbers of both transporters resulted in anion currents of 165 and 130 pA, respectively. Application of both substrates at the same time generated an anion current of 297 pA, demonstrating that the currents catalyzed by the wild-type and mutant transporter subunits are purely additive. This result is unexpected for anion permeation through a central pore but could be explained by anion permeation through independently functioning subunits. To further test the subunit independence, we coexpressed EAAC1(WT) and EAAC1(H295K), a transporter with a 90-fold reduced glutamate affinity as compared to EAAC1(WT), and determined the glutamate concentration dependence of currents of the mixed transporter population. The data were consistent with two independent populations of transporters with apparent glutamate affinities similar to those of EAAC1(H295K) and EAAC1(WT), respectively. Finally, we coexpressed EAAC1(WT) with the pH-independent mutant transporter EAAC1(E373Q), showing two independent populations of transporters, one being pH-dependent and the other being pH-independent. In conclusion, we propose that EAAC1 assembles as trimers of identical subunits but that the individual subunits in the trimer function independently of each other.
Project description:Injured motor neurons of the adult rat can survive, whereas similar axotomy causes gradual motor neuron death in the adult mouse. We report that the decreased expression of the neuronal glutamate transporter excitatory amino-acid carrier 1 (EAAC1) following nerve injury is associated with motor neuron death in the mouse. Glutamate transporters play a crucial role in prevention of neuronal death by suppressing glutamate toxicity. However, the possible functional role of EAAC1 in preventing neuron death has not been resolved as compared with glial glutamate transporters such as GLT-1. Here, we have revealed a unique 'rescue' function of EAAC1, which is independent of removal of extracellular glutamate. During apoptotic stimuli, a mitochondrial protein, holocytochrome c synthetase (HCCS), translocates to outside the mitochondria, binds to and suppresses the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP), leading to activation of caspase-3. The N-terminus of EAAC1 can bind to HCCS, which interferes with the HCCS-XIAP association, and thereby maintain XIAP activity. This unique anti-apoptotic mechanism of EAAC1 functions in rescuing PC12 cells and motor neurons from NGF deprivation and nerve injury, respectively.