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Gene Review

Eaat1  -  Excitatory amino acid transporter 1

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: AF001784, CG3747, Dglt-1, Dglut-1, Dmel\CG3747, ...
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High impact information on Eaat1

  • We targeted the expression of the polyQ-containing domain of Htt or an extended polyQ peptide alone in a subset of Drosophila glial cells, where the only fly glutamate transporter, dEAAT1, is detected [1].
  • This resulted in formation of nuclear inclusions, progressive decrease in dEAAT1 transcription and shortened adult lifespan, but no significant glial cell death [1].
  • We now show that dEAAT2 can also transport the amino acid taurine with high affinity, a property that is not shared by two other transporters of the same family, Drosophila dEAAT1 and human hEAAT2 [2].
  • Inactivation of dEAAT1 by RNA interference led to characteristic behavior deficits that were significantly rescued by expression of the human glutamate transporter hEAAT2 or the administration in food of riluzole, an anti-excitotoxic agent used in the clinic for human ALS patients [3].
  • This suggests that the dEAAT1-deficient fly provides a powerful genetic model system for molecular analysis of glutamate-mediated neurodegeneration [3].

Biological context of Eaat1

  • Our results show that glia play a major role in excitatory amino acid transport in the Drosophila CNS and that regulated expression of the dEAAT genes contributes to generate the functional diversity of glial cells during embryonic development [4].

Anatomical context of Eaat1


Associations of Eaat1 with chemical compounds

  • The Drosophila excitatory amino acid transporters dEAAT1 and dEAAT2 are nervous-specific transmembrane proteins that mediate the high affinity uptake of L-glutamate or aspartate into cells [4].

Other interactions of Eaat1

  • We also detected the dEAAT transcripts in the midline glia in late embryos and dEAAT2 in a few peripheral neurons in head sensory organs [4].


  1. Expanded polyglutamine peptides disrupt EGF receptor signaling and glutamate transporter expression in Drosophila. Liévens, J.C., Rival, T., Iché, M., Chneiweiss, H., Birman, S. Hum. Mol. Genet. (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. High affinity transport of taurine by the Drosophila aspartate transporter dEAAT2. Besson, M.T., Ré, D.B., Moulin, M., Birman, S. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Decreasing glutamate buffering capacity triggers oxidative stress and neuropil degeneration in the Drosophila brain. Rival, T., Soustelle, L., Strambi, C., Besson, M.T., Iché, M., Birman, S. Curr. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. Terminal glial differentiation involves regulated expression of the excitatory amino acid transporters in the Drosophila embryonic CNS. Soustelle, L., Besson, M.T., Rival, T., Birman, S. Dev. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. Identification and characterization of a cDNA encoding a neuronal glutamate transporter from Drosophila melanogaster. Seal, R.P., Daniels, G.M., Wolfgang, W.J., Forte, M.A., Amara, S.G. Recept. Channels (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. Physiological requirement for the glutamate transporter dEAAT1 at the adult Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Rival, T., Soustelle, L., Cattaert, D., Strambi, C., Iché, M., Birman, S. J. Neurobiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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