Function and expression of a splicing variant of vesicular glutamate transporter 1

Satomi Moriyama, Masafumi Iharada, Hiroshi Omote, Yoshinori Moriyama, Miki Hiasa

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT) is an active transporter responsible for vesicular storage of glutamate in synaptic vesicles and plays an essential role in glutamatergic neurotransmission. VGLUT consists of three isoforms, VGLUT1, VGLUT2, and VGLUT3. The VGLUT1 variant, VGLUT1v, with an additional 75-base pair sequence derived from a second intron between exons 2 and 3, which corresponds to 25 amino acid residues in the 1st loop of VGLUT1, is the only splicing variant among VGLUTs, although whether VGLUT1v protein is actually translated at the protein level remains unknown. In the present study, VGLUT1v was expressed in insect cells, solubilized, purified to near homogeneity, and its transport activity was examined. Proteoliposomes containing purified VGLUT1v were shown to accumulate glutamate upon imposition of an inside-positive membrane potential (Δψ). The Δψ-driven glutamate uptake activity requires Cl and its pharmacological profile and kinetics are comparable to those of other VGLUTs. The retinal membrane contained two VGLUT1 moieties with apparent molecular masses of 65 and 57 kDa. VGLUT1v-specific antibodies against an inserted 25-amino acid residue sequence identified a 65-kDa immunoreactive polypeptide. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that VGLUT1v immunoreactivity is present in photoreceptor cells and is associated with synaptic vesicles. VGLUT1v immunoreactivity is also present in pinealocytes, but not in other areas, including the brain. These results indicated that VGLUT1v exists in a functional state in rat photosensitive cells and is involved in glutamatergic chemical transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-940
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • Photoreceptor cell
  • Pinealocyte
  • Splicing variant
  • Synaptic vesicle
  • VGLUT1
  • Vesicular glutamate transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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