Expression of a mouse brain cDNA encoding novel γ-aminobutyric acid transporter

Nathan Nelson*, Beatriz Lopez-Corcuera, Qing Rong Liu, Sreekala Mandiyan, Hannah Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A nipecotic acid-resistant γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter was cloned from a mouse brain cDNA library. The 2.3-kilobase cDNA clone contains an open reading frame of 1842 nucleotides encoding a protein of 614 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequence indicates it is a member of the gene family of the sodium-dependent neurotransmitter transporters. The new GABA transporter, named GAT2, is highly homologous to the betaine transporter (BGT1) cloned from canine kidney. However, GAT2 expression in the brain distinguished it from BGT1 which was exclusively expressed in the kidney. The transcripts of GAT2 were found in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and brainstem as well as in kidney. Expression of GAT2 in Xenopus oocytes revealed a Km of 79 μM for GABA uptake which is about 10-fold higher than that of the high affinity GABA transporter (GAT1). The pharmacology of GAT2 is different from that of GAT1 because of lack of inhibition by guvacine and nipecotic acid and sensitivity to high concentrations of betaine and β-alanine. GAT2 transports betaine with a Km of about 200 μM, but no significant transport of β-alanine could be detected. The presence of mRNA encoding GAT2 in parts of the brain suggests it is a neurotransmitter transporter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17491-17493
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - 5 Sep 1992
Externally publishedYes


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