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Mol Cell Biol. 2003 May;23(9):3247-52.

Targeted disruption of the peptide transporter Pept2 gene in mice defines its physiological role in the kidney.

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Molecular Nutrition Unit, Technical University of Munich, D-85350 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany.


The peptide transporter PEPT2 mediates the cellular uptake of di- and tripeptides and selected drugs by proton-substrate cotransport across the plasma membrane. PEPT2 was functionally identified initially in the apical membrane of renal tubular cells but was later shown to be expressed in other tissues also. To investigate the physiological importance of PEPT2 and for a detailed analysis of the protein expression sites, we generated a Pept2 knockout mouse line in which the Pept2 gene was disrupted by insertion of a beta-galactosidase gene under the control of the PEPT2 promoter. The Pept2(-/-) mice showed no obvious phenotypic abnormalities but also no adaptive upregulation in the expression level of related genes in the kidney. The importance of PEPT2 in the reabsorption of filtered dipeptides was demonstrated in knockout animals by significantly reduced renal accumulation of a fluorophore-labeled and a radiolabeled dipeptide after in vivo administration of the tracers. This indicates that PEPT2 is the main system responsible for tubular reabsorption of peptide-bound amino acids, although this does not lead to major changes in renal excretion of protein or free amino acids.

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