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Placenta. 2006 Jun-Jul;27(6-7):550-9. Epub 2005 Aug 29.

Functional characteristics of NaS2, a placenta-specific Na+-coupled transporter for sulfate and oxyanions of the micronutrients selenium and chromium.

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


NaS2 is a Na+-coupled transporter for sulfate that belongs to the SLC13 gene family. This transporter was originally cloned from high endothelial venule endothelial cells, but nothing is known about the functional characteristics of this transporter except that it transports sulfate in a Na+-coupled manner. Northern blot analysis indicates that NaS2 is expressed most robustly in placenta. In the present study, we cloned NaS2 from rat placenta and characterized its transport function in detail using the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system. Rat NaS2 consists of 629 amino acids and is highly similar to human NaS2. In situ hybridization studies with mouse placental sections show that NaS2 transcripts are expressed primarily in trophoblasts of the labyrinth zone. The expression of the transporter is confirmed in primary cultures of trophoblasts isolated from human placenta. When expressed in X. laevis oocytes, rat NaS2 mediates Na+-coupled transport of sulfate. The transport of sulfate is inhibited by oxyanions of selenium, chromium, arsenic, molybdenum, and phosphorous, suggesting that the transporter may mediate the transport of these oxyanions in addition to sulfate. The Kt for sulfate is 153+/-30 microM and the Na+:sulfate stoichiometry is 3:1. The transport process is electrogenic as evidenced from the inhibition of the uptake process by K+-induced depolarization. We conclude that NaS2 is a placenta-specific Na+-coupled, electrogenic, transporter for sulfate expressed in trophoblasts and that it is also responsible for the transport of oxyanions of the micronutrients selenium and chromium.

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