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J Biol Chem. 1999 Jul 9;274(28):19738-44.

Identification of a membrane protein, LAT-2, that Co-expresses with 4F2 heavy chain, an L-type amino acid transport activity with broad specificity for small and large zwitterionic amino acids.

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  • 1Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Universitat de Barcelona, Avda. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.


We have identified a new human cDNA, L-amino acid transporter-2 (LAT-2), that induces a system L transport activity with 4F2hc (the heavy chain of the surface antigen 4F2, also named CD98) in oocytes. Human LAT-2 is the fourth member of the family of amino acid transporters that are subunits of 4F2hc. The amino acid transport activity induced by the co-expression of 4F2hc and LAT-2 was sodium-independent and showed broad specificity for small and large zwitterionic amino acids, as well as bulky analogs (e.g. BCH (2-aminobicyclo-(2,2,1)-heptane-2-carboxylic acid)). This transport activity was highly trans-stimulated, suggesting an exchanger mechanism of transport. Expression of tagged N-myc-LAT-2 alone in oocytes did not induce amino acid transport, and the protein had an intracellular location. Co-expression of N-myc-LAT-2 and 4F2hc gave amino acid transport induction and expression of N-myc-LAT-2 at the plasma membrane of the oocytes. These data suggest that LAT-2 is an additional member of the family of 4F2 light chain subunits, which associates with 4F2hc to express a system L transport activity with broad specificity for zwitterionic amino acids. Human LAT-2 mRNA is expressed in kidney >>> placenta >> brain, liver > spleen, skeletal muscle, heart, small intestine, and lung. Human LAT-2 gene localizes at chromosome 14q11.2-13 (13 cR or approximately 286 kb from marker D14S1349). The high expression of LAT-2 mRNA in epithelial cells of proximal tubules, the basolateral location of 4F2hc in these cells, and the amino acid transport activity of LAT-2 suggest that this transporter contributes to the renal reabsorption of neutral amino acids in the basolateral domain of epithelial proximal tubule cells.

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