Isolation of current components and partial reaction cycles in the glial glutamate transporter EAAT2

Thomas S. Otis, Michael P. Kavanaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


The kinetic properties of the excitatory amino acid transporter EAAT2 were studied using rapid applications of L-glutamate to outside-out patches excised from transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells. In the presence of the highly permeant anion SCN-, pulses of glutamate rapidly activated transient anion channel currents mediated by the transporter. In the presence of the impermeant anion gluconate, glutamate pulses activated smaller currents predicted to result from stoichiometric flux of cotransported ions. Both anion and stoichiometric currents displayed similar kinetics, suggesting that anion channel gating and stoichiometric charge movements are linked to early transitions in the transport cycle. Transporter-mediated anion currents were recorded with ion and glutamate gradients favoring either unidirectional influx or exchange. Analysis of deactivation and recovery kinetics in these two conditions suggests that, after binding, translocation of substrate is more likely than unbinding under physiological conditions. The kinetic properties of EAAT2, the dominant glutamate transporter in brain astrocytes, distinguish it as an efficient sink for synaptically released glutamate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2749-2757
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2000


  • Anion conductance
  • Astrocyte
  • EAAT2
  • GLT1
  • Glutamate transporter
  • Glutamate uptake


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