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Mol Membr Biol. 2001 Jan-Mar;18(1):21-6.

The amino acid transport system b(o,+) and cystinuria.

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Departament de Bioquimica i Biologia Molecular, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona i Parc Cientific de Barcelona, Spain.


Amino acid transport in mammalian plasma membranes is mediated by a multiplicity of amino acid transport systems. Some of them (systems L, y+ L, x(c)- and b(o,+)) are the result of the activity of heteromeric amino acid transporters (HAT) (i.e. transport activity is elicited by the coexpression of a heavy and a light subunit). The two heavy subunits known today (HSHAT: rBAT and 4F2hc) were identified in 1992, and light subunits (LSHAT: LAT-1, LAT-2, asc-1, y+ LAT-1, y+ LAT-2, xCT and b(o,+)AT) have been cloned in the last 2 years. Defects in two genes of this family (SLC3A1, encoding rBAT and SLC7A9, encoding b(o,+)AT) are responsible for cystinuria, an inherited aminoaciduria of cystine and dibasic amino acids. This finding and functional studies of rBAT and b(o,+)AT suggested that these two proteins encompassed the high-affinity renal reabsorption system of cystine. In contrast to this view, immunofluorescence studies showed that rBAT is most abundant in the proximal straight tubule, and b(o,+)AT is most abundant in the proximal convoluted tubule of the nephron. The need for a new light subunit for rBAT and a heavy subunit for b(o,+)AT is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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