Glutamate is an important amino acid implicated in energy metabolism, protein biosynthesis and neurotransmission. The Na(+)-dependent high-affinity excitatory amino acid transporter EAAT3 (EAAC1) facilitates glutamate uptake into most cells. Recently, a novel rat EAAT3-interacting protein called GTRAP3-18 has been identified by a yeast two-hybrid screening. GTRAP3-18 functions as a negative modulator of EAAT3-mediated glutamate transport. In order to further understand the function and regulation of GTRAP3-18, we cloned the mouse orthologue to GTRAP3-18 and determined its gene structure and its expression pattern. GTRAP3-18 encodes a 188-residue hydrophobic protein whose sequence is highly conserved amongst vertebrates. Mouse and human GTRAP3-18 genes contain three exons separated by two introns. The GTRAP3-18 gene is found on mouse chromosome 6D3 and on human chromosome 3p14, a susceptibility locus for cancer and epilepsy. GTRAP3-18 protein and RNA were found both in neuronal rich regions of the brain and in non-neuronal tissues such as the kidney, heart and skeletal muscle. Mouse GTRAP3-18 inhibited EAAT3-mediated glutamate transport in a dose-dependent manner. These studies show that GTRAP3-18 is a ubiquitously expressed protein that functions as a negative regulator of EAAT3 function.