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J Biol Chem. 1999 Jan 29;274(5):2773-9.

Stoichiometry and kinetics of the high-affinity H+-coupled peptide transporter PepT2.

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  • 1Renal Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Proton-coupled peptide transporters mediate the absorption of a large variety of di- and tripeptides as well as peptide-like pharmacologically active compounds. We report a kinetic analysis of the rat kidney high-affinity peptide transporter PepT2 expressed in Xenopus oocytes. By use of simultaneous radioactive uptake and current measurements under voltage-clamp condition, the charge to substrate uptake ratio was found to be close to 2 for both D-Phe-L-Ala and D-Phe-L-Glu, indicating that the H+:substrate stoichiometry is 2:1 and 3:1 for neutral and anionic dipeptides, respectively. The higher stoichiometry for anionic peptides suggests that they are transported in the protonated form. For D-Phe-L-Lys, the charge:uptake ratio averaged 2.4 from pooled experiments, suggesting that Phe-Lys crosses the membrane via PepT2 either in its deprotonated (neutral) or its positively charged form, averaging a H+:Phe-Lys stoichiometry of 1.4:1. These findings led to the overall conclusion that PepT2 couples transport of one peptide molecule to two H+. This is in contrast to the low-affinity transporter PepT1 that couples transport of one peptide to one H+. Quinapril inhibited PepT2-mediated currents in presence or in absence of external substrates. Oocytes expressing PepT2 exhibited quinapril-sensitive outward currents. In the absence of external substrate, a quinapril-sensitive proton inward current (proton leak) was also observed which, together with the observed pH-dependent PepT2-specific presteady-state currents (Ipss), indicates that at least one H+ binds to the transporter prior to substrate. PepT2 exhibited Ipss in response to hyperpolarization at pH 6.5-8.0. However, contrary to previous observations on various transporters, 1) no significant currents were observed corresponding to voltage jumps returning from hyperpolarization, and 2) at reduced extracellular pH, no significant Ipss were observed in either direction. Together with observed lower substrate affinities and decreased PepT2-mediated currents at hyperpolarized Vm, our data are consistent with the concept that hyperpolarization exerts inactivation effects on the transporter which are enhanced by low pH. Our studies revealed distinct properties of PepT2, compared with PepT1 and other ion-coupled transporters.

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