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Am J Physiol. 1995 Aug;269(2 Pt 1):L137-43.

Dipeptide transport characteristics of the apical membrane of rat lung type II pneumocytes.

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  • 1Department of Human Anatomy, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.


The transport of a hydrolysis-resistant dipeptide, D-phenylalanyl-L-alanine (D-Phe-L-Ala), has been studied by high-performance liquid chromatography in rat lung epithelial cells and apical membrane vesicles. Time-dependent uptake of D-Phe-L-Ala into isolated type II pneumocytes was shown. Uptake was saturable, and Michaelis-Menten kinetics were fitted to the data and gave an apparent Michaelis constant (Km) of 3.4 mM and a maximum velocity (Vmax) of 7.0 nmol.mg protein-1.min-1. However, known peptide transport inhibitors unexpectedly increased intracellular D-Phe-L-Ala concentration when initial rates of peptide uptake were studied. Apical (brush-border) membrane vesicles prepared from rat lung also showed time- and concentration-dependent influx of D-Phe-L-Ala (apparent Km 2.0 mM, Vmax 0.53 nmol.mg protein-1.min-1). Influx of this neutral dipeptide into the vesicles was shown to be both electrogenic and stimulated by an inwardly directed proton gradient. Influx was inhibitable by mercuric chloride and by the amino acid residue modifying compounds N-acetylimidazole and diethylpyrocarbonate. These findings strongly suggest the presence of a proton-coupled peptide transport protein in the apical surface of the type II cell. This transporter may play a role in lung homeostasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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