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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1990 Sep 7;1027(3):211-7.

Uptake of the cephalosporin, cephalexin, by a dipeptide transport carrier in the human intestinal cell line, Caco-2.

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Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN 46285.


The transport of the orally absorbed cephalosporin, cephalexin, was examined in the human epithelial cell line, Caco-2 that possesses intestinal enterocyte-like properties when cultured. In sodium-free buffer, the cells accumulated 1 mM D-[9-14C]cephalexin against a concentration gradient and obtained a distribution ratio of 3.5 within 180 min. Drug uptake was maximal when the extracellular pH was 6.0. Uptake was reduced by metabolic inhibitors and by protonophores indicating that uptake was energy- and proton-dependent. Kinetic analysis of the concentration dependence of the rate of cephalexin uptake showed that a non-saturable component (Kd of 0.18 +/- 0.01 nmol/min per mg protein per mM) and a transport system with a Km of 7.5 +/- 2.8 mM and a Vmax of 6.5 +/- 0.9 nmol/min per mg protein were responsible for drug uptake. Uptake was competitively inhibited by dipeptides. The transport carrier exhibited stereospecificity for the L-isomer of cephalexin. Drug uptake was not affected by the presence of amino acids, organic anions, 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid or 4,4'-diisothiocyano-2,2'-disulfonic stilbene. Therefore, Caco-2 cells take up cephalexin by a proton-dependent dipeptide transport carrier that closely resembles the transporter present in the intestine. Caco-2 cells represent a cellular model for future studies of the dipeptide transporter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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