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J Biol Chem. 2012 Feb 10;287(7):4982-95. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.306860. Epub 2011 Dec 16.

Identification and functional impact of homo-oligomers of the human proton-coupled folate transporter.

Author information

  • 1Developmental Therapeutics Program, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.

Abstract

The proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT; SLC46A1) is a proton-folate symporter that is abundantly expressed in solid tumors and normal tissues, such as duodenum. The acidic pH optimum for PCFT is relevant to intestinal absorption of folates and could afford a means of selectively targeting tumors with novel cytotoxic antifolates. PCFT is a member of the major facilitator superfamily of transporters. Because major facilitator superfamily members exist as homo-oligomers, we tested this for PCFT because such structures could be significant to PCFT mechanism and regulation. By transiently expressing PCFT in reduced folate carrier- and PCFT-null HeLa (R1-11) cells and chemical cross-linking with 1,1-methanediyl bismethanethiosulfonate and Western blotting, PCFT species with molecular masses approximating those of the PCFT dimer and higher order oligomers were detected. Blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis identified PCFT dimer, trimer, and tetramer forms. PCFT monomers with hemagglutinin and His(10) epitope tags were co-expressed in R1-11 cells, solubilized, and bound to nickel affinity columns, establishing their physical associations. Co-expressing YPet and ECFP*-tagged PCFT monomers enabled transport and fluorescence resonance energy transfer in plasma membranes of R1-11 cells. Combined wild-type (WT) and inactive mutant P425R PCFTs were targeted to the cell surface by surface biotinylation/Western blots and confocal microscopy and functionally exhibited a "dominant-positive" phenotype, implying positive cooperativity between PCFT monomers and functional rescue of mutant by WT PCFT. Our results demonstrate the existence of PCFT homo-oligomers and imply their functional and regulatory impact. Better understanding of these higher order PCFT structures may lead to therapeutic applications related to folate uptake in hereditary folate malabsorption, and delivery of PCFT-targeted chemotherapy drugs for cancer.

PMID:
22179615
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3281668
Free PMC Article

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