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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 8;277(45):43058-63. Epub 2002 Aug 23.

A naturally occurring mutation in the SLC21A6 gene causing impaired membrane localization of the hepatocyte uptake transporter.

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  • 1Division of Tumor Biochemistry, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


The organic anion transporter SLC21A6 (also known as OATP2, OATP-C, or LST-1) is involved in the hepatocellular uptake of a variety of endogenous and xenobiotic substances and drugs. We analyzed 81 human liver samples by immunoblotting and found one with a strongly reduced amount of SLC21A6 protein suggesting mutations in the SLC21A6 gene. The SLC21A6 cDNA from this sample contained five base pair changes in one allele; three of the mutations resulted in amino acid substitutions designated SLC21A6-N130D, SLC21A6-P155T, and SLC21A6-L193R. The former two were polymorphisms (SLC21A6*1b and SLC21A6*4), whereas SLC21A6-L193R represents the first naturally occurring mutation identified in one allele of the SLC21A6 gene, which affects protein maturation and organic anion transport. We introduced each of the mutations into the SLC21A6 cDNA and established stably transfected MDCKII cells expressing the respective mutant SLC21A6 protein. Immunofluorescence microscopy and uptake measurements were used to study localization and transport properties of the mutated proteins. Both proteins carrying the polymorphisms were sorted to the lateral membrane like wild-type SLC21A6, but their transport properties for the substrates cholyltaurine and 17beta-glucuronosyl estradiol were altered. Importantly, most of the mutant protein SLC21A6-L193R was retained intracellularly, and this single amino acid exchange abolished transport function.

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