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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2008 Jul;295(1):G7-G15. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00606.2007. Epub 2008 Apr 24.

Identification and characterization of rabbit small intestinal villus cell brush border membrane Na-glutamine cotransporter.

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  • 1Section of Digestive Diseases, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA.

Abstract

Glutamine, the primary metabolic fuel for the mammalian small intestinal enterocytes, is primarily assimilated by Na-amino acid cotransporters. Although Na-solute cotransport has been shown to exist in the brush border membrane (BBM) of the absorptive villus cells, the identity of Na-glutamine cotransport in rabbit small intestinal villus cells was unknown. Na-dependent glutamine uptake is present in villus BBM vesicles. An intravesicular proton gradient did not stimulate this Na-dependent glutamine uptake, whereas Li+ did not significantly suppress this uptake. These observations in concert with amino acid substitution studies suggested that Na-glutamine cotransporter in the villus cell BBM was the newly identified cotransporter B0AT1 (SLC6A19). Quantitative real-time PCR identified the message for this cotransporter in villus cells. Thus a full-length cDNA of B0AT1 was cloned and expressed in MDA-MB-231 cells. This expressed cotransporter exhibited characteristics similar to those observed in villus cells from the rabbit small intestine. Antibody was generated for B0AT1 that demonstrated the presence of this cotransporter protein in the villus cell BBM. Kinetic studies defined the kinetic parameters of this cotransporter. Thus this study describes the identification, cloning, and characterization of the Na-amino acid cotransporter responsible for the assimilation of a critical amino acid by the absorptive villus cells in the mammalian small intestine.

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