Neurotransmitter transporters play a major role in achieving low concen-trations of their respective transmitter in the synaptic cleft. The GABA
transporter GAT1 belongs to the family of Na
- and Cl
-coupled trans-port proteins which possess 12 putative transmembrane domains and three
N-glycosylation sites in the extracellular loop between transmembrane
domain 3 and 4.
This diverse collection of research articles is united by the enormous power of modern molecular genetics. Every author accomplished two objectives: (1) making the field and the research described accessible to a large audience and (2) explaining fully the genetic tools and approaches that were used in the research. One fact stands out - the importance of a genetic approach to addressing a problem. I encourage you to read several chapters.
The hypothesis thatL-glutamate (Glu) is an excitatory
amino acid neurotransmitter in the mammalian central
nervous system is now gaining more support after the suc-cessful cloning of a number of genes coding for the signaling
machinery required for this neurocrine at synapses in the
brain. These include Glu receptors (signal detection), Glu
transporters (signal termination) and vesicular Glu trans-porters (signal output through exocytotic release).
Cone snails, a group of gastropod animals that inhabit tropical seas, are
capable of producing a mixture of peptide neurotoxins, namely conotoxins,
for defense and predation. Conotoxins are mainly disulfide-rich short pep-tides that act on different ion channels, neurotransmitter receptors, or
transporters in the nervous system.