Molecular identification of high-affinity glutamate transporters in sheep and cattle forestomach, intestine, liver, kidney, and pancreas

J. A. Howell, A. D. Matthews, K. C. Swanson, D. L. Harmon, J. C. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Glutamate metabolism is essential to support many facets of metabolism. The objective of this study was to determine the tissue distribution of glutamate transporters known to support the tissue metabolism of glutamate. The expression of proteins capable of high-affinity glutamate transport (system X-AG) by epithelia isolated from the rumen, omasum, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, and colon and homogenates of liver, kidney, and pancreatic tissues from wethers (n = 4; BW = 28.4±8.4 kg) and steers (n = 3; BW = 426±32.3 kg) fed forage-based diets was evaluated by immunoblot analysis. Proteins EAAC1 (62,93 kDa) and GLT-1 (142, 188, >202 kDa) were expressed by every tissue examined. In contrast, GLAST1 (140 kDa) was expressed only by the pancreas, and EAAT4 (67 kDa) was detected only in sheep brain. To corroborate protein expression data, the presence and size of transporter mRNA in ileal, liver, and pancreatic homogenates were evaluated by Northern analysis. GLAST1 mRNA (2.4, 4.3 kb) was detected only in the pancreas, whereas EAAC1 (2.2, 2.8 kb) and GLT-1 (12.1 kb) mRNA transcripts were detected in all three tissues. The expression of EAAT4 and GLT-1 mRNA was confirmed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analyses. Sequencing of the resulting partial-length ovine GLT-1 cDNA revealed 100% identity with the rat homolog. Overall, these data demonstrate that sheep and cattle share the same pattern of system X-SG transporter expression, which differed among tissues and transporter isoforms. Accordingly, these data provide the fundamental knowledge to initiate research that determines whether the expression of high-affinity glutamate transporters by ruminants is sensitive to ontogenic and(or) dietary regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1336
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2001


  • Cattle
  • Gene Expression
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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