Synaptic vesicle loading of glutamate is a pivotal step in glutamate synaptic transmission. The molecular machinery responsible for this step is comprised of v-type proton-pump ATPase and a vesicular glutamate transporter. Recent evidence indicates that synaptic vesicles are endowed with glycolytic ATP-synthesizing enzymes, providing energy for immediate use by vesicle-bound proton-pump ATPase. In this study, we provide evidence that synaptic vesicles are also capable of synthesizing the vesicular glutamate transporter substrate glutamate, from α-ketoglutarate and l-aspartate (as the amino group donor); glutamate thus produced is taken up into vesicles. We also report a finding that α-ketoglutarate-derived glutamate uptake into synaptic vesicles and aspartate aminotransferase are inhibited by 2,3-pyrazinedicarboxylate. Evidence is given that this is a selective inhibitor for aspartate aminotransferase. These observations provide insight into understanding the nerve endings' mechanism for high efficiency in glutamate transmission. Finding this inhibitor may have implications for further experimentation on the role of α-ketoglutarate-derived glutamate in glutamate transmission.
© 2012 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2012 International Society for Neurochemistry.