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Am J Physiol. 1987 Jan;252(1 Pt 1):C105-14.

High affinity L-aspartate transport in chick small intestine.


Epithelial cells isolated from chick small intestine were used to study the mechanism of L-aspartate transport. Two kinetically distinct uptake systems of high (Km' = 16 microM) and low (Km'' = 2.7 mM) affinity are observed. This paper examines the cation dependence and membrane potential sensitivity of the high affinity system. Unidirectional influx studies indicate that extracellular Na+ is an absolute requirement for transport function. Flux is optimal when K+ is present intracellularly, however this cation is not required for Na+-dependent L-aspartate uptake. In the absence of K+, flux enhancement is observed when the intracellular pH is acidic. In contrast, acidic intracellular pH is inhibitory in cells that are preequilibrated with K+. Sodium ([Na+]o greater than [Na+]i gradients, and potassium ([K+]o less than [K+]i) or proton ([H+]o less than [H+]i) gradients can independently energize the Na+-dependent accumulation of L-aspartate above equilibrium levels, suggesting that Na+ and L-aspartate cotransport occurs with concomitant K+ or H+ antiport. L-Aspartate influx is insensitive to membrane potential changes created by inwardly directed anion gradients in the presence or absence of intracellular K+. A model is presented that is consistent with electroneutral Na+-coupled transfer with an ion antiport site of low specificity.

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