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J Dairy Sci. 2013 Mar;96(3):1685-90. doi: 10.3168/jds.2012-6230. Epub 2013 Jan 26.

Short communication: urea transporter protein UT-B in the bovine parotid gland.

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School of Biology and Environmental Science, College of Life Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.


Ruminant nutrition relies upon the symbiotic relationship that exists with microbial populations in the rumen. Urea transported across the ruminal epithelia and secreted by the salivary glands is a key source of nitrogen for microbial growth in the rumen. As ruminal urea transport can be mediated by specific UT-B urea transporters, this study investigated whether UT-B urea transporters were also present in the bovine salivary gland. Western blotting experiments detected only small amounts of UT-B protein in whole-cell lysate from the bovine parotid gland. In contrast, strong 32 to 34 and 40 kDa UT-B proteins were detected in parotid plasma membrane-enriched protein, showing the importance of using enriched samples. These signals were also detected in rumen and correspond to bovine UT-B1 and UT-B2 urea transporters, respectively. Further immunolocalization studies identified that these proteins were located in the ductal system of the parotid gland. This study, therefore, confirmed the presence of UT-B urea transporter protein in the bovine parotid salivary gland.

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