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Mol Pharmacol. 2000 Aug;58(2):335-40.

Oatp2 mediates bidirectional organic solute transport: a role for intracellular glutathione.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.


One member of the OATP family of transporters, rat Oatp1, functions as an anion exchanger that is driven in part by the glutathione (GSH) electrochemical gradient, indicating that other OATP-related transporters may also be energized by this mechanism. The present study examined whether rat Oatp2 is also an anion exchanger, and, if so, whether it is energized by the GSH electrochemical gradient. As with Oatp1, uptake of 10 microM [(3)H]taurocholate in Oatp2-expressing Xenopus laevis oocytes was trans-stimulated by intracellular 0.2 mM unlabeled taurocholate, indicating bidirectional transport. Interestingly, [(3)H]taurocholate uptake in Oatp2-expressing oocytes was also trans-stimulated when oocytes were preloaded with GSH, S-methylglutathione, S-sulfobromophthalein-glutathione, S-dinitrophenyl glutathione, or ophthalmic acid (a GSH analog) but not by glutarate or N-acetylcysteine, suggesting that GSH derivatives and conjugates may function as intracellular substrates for Oatp2. Support for this hypothesis was provided by the demonstration of enhanced [(3)H]GSH and [(3)H]S-(2,4-dinitrophenyl)-glutathione efflux in Oatp2-expressing oocytes. However, in contrast to Oatp1, extracellular GSH failed to cis-inhibit uptake of [(3)H]taurocholate or [(3)H]digoxin in Oatp2-expressing oocytes, indicating that the stimulatory effect of high intracellular GSH concentrations is not due to a coupled exchange mechanism. Taken together, the results indicate that Oatp2 mediates bidirectional transport of organic anions by a GSH-sensitive facilitative diffusion mechanism and suggest that this transporter may play a role in cellular export of specific organic molecules.

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