Alternate splicing and expression of the glutamate transporter EAAT5 in the rat retina

Aven Lee*, Ashley R. Anderson, Nigel L. Barnett, Melissa G. Stevens, David V. Pow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Excitatory amino acid transporter 5 (EAAT5) is an unusual glutamate transporter that is expressed in the retina, where it is localised to two populations of glutamatergic neurons, namely the bipolar neurons and photoreceptors. EAAT5 exhibits two distinct properties, acting both as a slow glutamate transporter and as a glutamate-gated inhibitory receptor. The latter property is attributable to a co-associated chloride conductance. EAAT5 has previously been thought to exist only as a full-length form. We now demonstrate by PCR cloning and sequencing, the presence of five novel splice variant forms of EAAT5 which skip either partial or complete exons in the rat retina. Furthermore, we demonstrate that each of these variants is expressed at the protein level as assessed by Western blotting using splice-specific antibodies that we have generated. We conclude that EAAT5 exists in multiple spliced forms, and propose, based upon retention or absence of key structural features, that these variant forms may potentially exhibit distinct properties relative to the originally described form of EAAT5.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2012
Externally publishedYes


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