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Am J Physiol. 1992 Feb;262(2 Pt 1):C517-26.

Role of facilitated diffusion of calcium by calbindin in intestinal calcium absorption.

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Department of Physiology, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond 23298.


Computer simulations of transcellular Ca2+ transport in enterocytes were carried out using the simulation program SPICE. The program incorporated a negative-feedback entry of Ca2+ at the brush-border membrane that was characterized by an inhibitor constant of 0.5 microM cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]). The basolateral Ca(2+)-ATPase was simulated by a four-step mechanism that resulted in Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a Michaelis constant of 0.24 microM [Ca2+]. The cytosolic diffusion of Ca2+ was simulated by dividing the cytosol into 10 slabs of equal width. Ca2+ binding to calbindin-D9K was simulated in each slab, and diffusion of free Ca2+, free calbindin, and Ca(2+)-laden calbindin was simulated between each slab. The cytosolic [Ca2+] of the simulated cells was regulated within the physiological range. Calbindin-D9K reduced the cytosolic [Ca2+] gradient, increased Ca2+ entry into the cell by removing the negative-feedback inhibition of Ca2+ entry, increased cytosolic Ca2+ flow, and increased the efflux of Ca2+ across the basolateral membrane by increasing the free [Ca2+] immediately adjacent to the pump. The enhancement of transcellular Ca2+ transport was nearly linearly dependent on calbindin-D9K concentration. The values of the dissociation constant (Kd) for calbindin-D9K were previously obtained experimentally in the presence and absence of KCl. Calbindin with the Kd obtained in the presence of KCl enhanced the simulated Ca2+ transport more than with the Kd obtained in the absence of KCl. This result suggests that the physiological Kd of calbindin is optimal for the enhancement of transcellular Ca2+ transport. The simulated Ca2+ flow was less than that predicted from the "near-equilibrium" analytic solution of the reaction-diffusion problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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