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Mol Membr Biol. 2009 Aug;26(5):333-46. doi: 10.1080/09687680903150027. Epub 2009 Jul 30.

Sodium translocation by the iminoglycinuria associated imino transporter (SLC6A20).

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Research School of Biology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.


The system IMINO transporter plays an essential role in the transport of proline and hydroxyproline in the intestine and kidney. Its molecular correlate has been identified and named SIT1 or IMINO (SLC6A20). Initial characterization of the transporter showed it to be Na(+) and Cl(-)-dependent, but the stoichiometry remained unresolved. Using homology modeling along the structure of the bacterial leucine transporter LeuT, we identified two highly conserved Na(+)-binding sites and a putative Cl(-)-binding site. Mutation of all residues in the two proposed Na(+)-binding sites revealed that most of them were essential for uptake and completely inactivated the transporter. However, mutants A22V (Na(+)-binding site 1) and mutants S20A, S20G, S20G/G405S (Na(+)-binding site 2) were partially active and characterized further. Flux studies suggested that mutations of Na(+)-binding site 1 caused a decrease of the Na(+)-K(0.5), whereas mutations of site 2 increased the K(0.5). Mutation of Na(+)-binding site 1 also changed the ion selectivity of the IMINO transporter. IMINO actively translocates (36)Cl(-) demonstrating that the proposed chloride binding site is used in the transporter. Accumulation experiments and flux measurements at different holding potentials showed that the transporter can work as a 2Na(+)/1Cl(-)-proline cotransporter. The proposed homology model allows to study mutations in IMINO associated with iminoglycinuria.

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