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J Biol Chem. 1999 Aug 20;274(34):23740-5.

Cloning and functional expression of a human Na(+) and Cl(-)-dependent neutral and cationic amino acid transporter B(0+).

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  • 1Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology and the Curriculum in Neurobiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.


A Na(+)-dependent neutral and cationic amino acid transport system (B(0+)) plays an important role in many cells and tissues; however, the molecular basis for this transport system is still unknown. To identify new transporters, the expressed sequence tag database was queried, and cDNA fragments with sequence similarity to the Na(+)/Cl(-)-dependent neurotransmitter transporter family were identified. Based on these sequences, rapid amplification of cDNA ends of human mammary gland cDNA was used to obtain a cDNA of 4.5 kilobases (kb). The open reading frame encodes a 642-amino acid protein named amino acid transporter B(0+). Human ATB(0+) (hATB(0+)) is a novel member of the Na(+)/Cl(-)-dependent neurotransmitter transporter family with the highest sequence similarity to the glycine and proline transporters. Northern blot analysis identified transcripts of approximately 4.5 kb and approximately 2 kb in the lung. Another tissue survey suggests expression in the trachea, salivary gland, mammary gland, stomach, and pituitary gland. Electrophysiology and radiolabeled amino acid uptake measurements were used to functionally characterize the transporter expressed in Xenopus oocytes. hATB(0+) was found to transport both neutral and cationic amino acids, with the highest affinity for hydrophobic amino acids and the lowest affinity for proline. Amino acid transport was Na(+) and Cl(-)-dependent and was attenuated in the presence of 2-aminobicyclo-[2.2.1]-heptane-2-carboxylic acid, a system B(0+) inhibitor. These characteristics are consistent with system B(0+) amino acid transport. Thus, hATB(0+) is the first cloned B(0+) amino acid transporter.

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