Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus


Department or School/College

College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences

Committee Chair

Nicholas Natale

Commitee Members

Michael Kavanaugh, Richard Bridges, Charles Thompson, Howard Beall, J. B. Alexander Ross


ASCT, derivatives, hydroxy proline, proline, synthesis


University of Montana


The glutamate / glutamine cycle is most traditionally described as the recycling of L-glutamate and L-glutamine via a concerted effort by a variety of cell membrane spanning amino acid transporters and amino acid converting enzymes, glutaminase and glutamine synthetase. This work details the design and synthesis of amino acid analogs, based off of an L-aspartate or L-proline scaffold, to be evaluated as inhibitors of the amino acid transporters ASCT (subtypes 1 & 2) and the excitatory amino acid transporters EAATs (subtypes 1-3), both involved in the glutamate / glutamine cycle. Furthermore, we have identified a number of potent substrate and nonsubstrate inhibitors of the ASCT and EAAT transporters by electrophysiological and radiolabeled uptake screening. Computational modeling of the synthesized analogs docked into a homology structure suggests a conformational bias that is indeed supported by the pharmacologic activity of our lead compounds. These novel pharmacologic leads will be applied in the design and synthesis of a new generation of inhibitors with greater potency and selectivity towards these transporters of interest.



© Copyright 2011 Brent Russell Lyda