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J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 2;279(14):13293-6. Epub 2004 Feb 13.

Functional identification of SLC5A8, a tumor suppressor down-regulated in colon cancer, as a Na(+)-coupled transporter for short-chain fatty acids.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.

Abstract

SLC5A8, a tumor suppressor gene down-regulated in human colon cancer, codes for a transporter in the Na(+)/glucose cotransporter gene family, but the definitive functional identity of the transporter protein is not known. Since this gene is expressed abundantly in the colon where short-chain fatty acids are generated by bacterial fermentation, we tested the hypothesis that it codes for a Na(+)-coupled transporter for these fatty acids. The coding region of SLC5A8 mRNA was amplified from human intestine and expressed heterologously in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Transport function was monitored by uptake of radiolabeled substrates and by substrate-induced currents under voltage-clamp conditions. Uptake of short-chain fatty acids (lactate, pyruvate, acetate, propionate, and butyrate) in oocytes expressing SLC5A8 was severalfold higher than in uninjected oocytes. Exposure of SLC5A8-expressing oocytes to these fatty acids induced inward currents under voltage-clamp conditions in a Na(+)-dependent manner. These currents were saturable and the substrate concentrations needed for half-maximal induction of the current were in the range of 0.08-2.5 mm. The substrate-induced currents decreased as the carbon chain length of the substrates increased. The Na(+)-activation kinetics indicated involvement of more than one Na(+) ion in the activation process. Direct measurements of substrate (propionate) and charge transfer showed that three positive charges are transferred into oocytes per substrate molecule. These studies establish the functional identity of SLC5A8 as a Na(+)-coupled transporter for short-chain fatty acids.

PMID:
14966140
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.C400059200
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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