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Annu Rev Nutr. 2005;25:105-25.

Regulation of vitamin C transport.

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Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14214-3079, USA.


Ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA, oxidized vitamin C) are dietary sources of vitamin C in humans. Both nutrients are absorbed from the lumen of the intestine and renal tubules by, respectively, enterocytes and renal epithelial cells. Subsequently vitamin C circulates in the blood and enters all of the other cells of the body. Concerning flux across the plasma membrane, simple diffusion of ascorbic acid plays only a small or negligible role. More important are specific mechanisms of transport and metabolism that concentrate vitamin C intracellularly to enhance its function as an enzyme cofactor and antioxidant. The known transport mechanisms are facilitated diffusion of DHAA through glucose-sensitive and -insensitive transporters, facilitated diffusion of ascorbate through channels, exocytosis of ascorbate in secretory vesicles, and secondary active transport of ascorbate through the sodium-dependent vitamin C transporters SVCT1 and SVCT2 proteins that are encoded by the genes Slc23a1 and Slc23a2, respectively. Evidence is reviewed indicating that these transport pathways are regulated under physiological conditions and altered by aging and disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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