• glutamate;
  • cysteine sulfinate binding to subcellular fractions of rat brain;
  • neurotransmission


A comparative study of the binding of L-cysteine sulfinic acid (CSA) and L-glutamic acid (GLU) to various subcellular fractions of membranes from rat brain was made. Kinetic parameters were determined in all fractions for both types of binding. The effects of membrane preincubation, freezing, and thawing were also examined. The GLU and CSA specific binding levels increased in medium-density (C) and high-density (D) synaptic membranes as compared to the crude mitochondrial/synaptosomal membranes (wP2). Freezing and thawing reduced CSA binding in all tested subcellular fractions. GLU binding is reduced in wP2, C, and D. Binding to the “light” synaptic membranes (B) was not significantly affected, suggesting the presence of two GLU sites. Kinetics of the GLU binding indicated that the temperature-sensitive and -insensitive sites have Kd of 600 nM and 1,100/nM, respectively. Preincubation of fresh membranes conversely affected CSA and GLU binding to the various subcellular fractions, increasing CSA binding in wP2, B, C and decreasing it in D suggesting the existence of distinct sites for GLU and CSA. Preincubation of previously frozen membranes similarly modified CSA and GLU binding except in B fractions. CSA and GLU binding exhibited different pH sensitivities in both fresh and frozen membranes. These results indicate that multiple acid amino acid binding sites exist in membranes and that they can be differentiated according to their sensitivity to temperature. They also suggest the existence of distinct sites for CSA and GLU in fresh membranes, giving further support to the hypothesis that CSA may also serve a neurotransmitter role in the rat central nervous system.