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J Biol Chem. 1991 Oct 25;266(30):19917-24.

The high and low affinity transport systems for dipeptides in kidney brush border membrane respond differently to alterations in pH gradient and membrane potential.

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Clinical Nutrition Unit, Montefiore University Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213.


The principal aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of variation in proton gradient and membrane potential on the transport of glycyl-L-glutamine (Gly-Gln) by renal brush border membrane vesicles. Under our conditions of transport assay, Gly-Gln was taken up by brush border membrane vesicles almost entirely as intact dipeptide. This uptake was mediated by two transporters shared by other dipeptides and characterized as the high affinity (Kt = 44.1 +/- 11.2 microM)/low capacity (Vmax = 0.41 +/- 0.03 nmol/mg protein/5 s) and low affinity (Kt = 2.62 +/- 0.50 mM)/high capacity (Vmax 4.04 +/- 0.80 nmol/mg protein/5 s) transporters. In the absence of a pH gradient, only the low affinity system was operational, but with a reduced transport capacity. Imposing a pH gradient of 1.6 pH units increased the Vmax of both transporters. Kinetic analysis of the rates of Gly-Gln uptake as a function of external pH revealed Hill coefficients of close or equal to 1, indicating that transporters contain only one binding site for the interaction with external H+. The effects of membrane potential on Gly-Gln uptake were investigated with valinomycin-induced K+ diffusion potentials. The velocity of the high affinity system but not of the low affinity system increased linearly with increasing inside-negative K+ diffusion potentials (p less than 0.01). The Kt of neither system was affected by alterations in either pH gradient or membrane potential. We conclude that (a) the high affinity transporter is far more sensitive to changes in proton gradient and membrane potential than the low affinity transporter and (b) in the presence of a pH gradient, transport of each dipeptide molecule requires cotransport of one hydrogen ion to serve as the driving force.

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