Send to

Choose Destination
Traffic. 2011 Apr;12(4):483-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2010.01155.x. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Basolateral sorting signals regulating tissue-specific polarity of heteromeric monocarboxylate transporters in epithelia.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Many solute transporters are heterodimers composed of non-glycosylated catalytic and glycosylated accessory subunits. These transporters are specifically polarized to the apical or basolateral membranes of epithelia, but this polarity may vary to fulfill tissue-specific functions. To date, the mechanisms regulating the tissue-specific polarity of heteromeric transporters remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the sorting signals that determine the polarity of three members of the proton-coupled monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) family, MCT1, MCT3 and MCT4, and their accessory subunit CD147. We show that MCT3 and MCT4 harbor strong redundant basolateral sorting signals (BLSS) in their C-terminal cytoplasmic tails that can direct fusion proteins with the apical marker p75 to the basolateral membrane. In contrast, MCT1 lacks a BLSS and its polarity is dictated by CD147, which contains a weak BLSS that can direct Tac, but not p75 to the basolateral membrane. Knockdown experiments in MDCK cells indicated that basolateral sorting of MCTs was clathrin-dependent but clathrin adaptor AP1B-independent. Our results explain the consistently basolateral localization of MCT3 and MCT4 and the variable localization of MCT1 in different epithelia. They introduce a new paradigm for the sorting of heterodimeric transporters in which a hierarchy of apical and BLSS in the catalytic and/or accessory subunits regulates their tissue-specific polarity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center