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Biol Pharm Bull. 2014;37(7):1090-5.

Immunological identification of vesicular nucleotide transporter in intestinal L cells.

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Department of Membrane Biochemistry, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences.


It is well established that vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT) is responsible for vesicular storage of nucleotides such as ATP, and that VNUT-expressing cells can secrete nucleotides upon exocytosis, playing an important role in purinergic chemical transmission. In the present study, we show that VNUT is expressed in intestinal L cells. Immunohistochemical evidence indicated that VNUT is present in glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) containing cells in rat intestine. VNUT immunoreactivity is not co-localized with GLP-1, a marker for secretory granules, and synaptophysin, a marker for synaptic-like microvesicles (SLMVs). Essentially the same results were obtained for GLUTag clonal L cells. Sucrose density gradient analysis confirmed that VNUT is present the light fraction, unlike secretory granules. These results demonstrate that intestinal L cells express VNUT in either the unidentified organelles at light density other than secretory granules and SLMVs or a subpopulation of SLMVs, and suggest that L cells are purinergic in nature and secrete nucleotides independent of GLP-1 secretion.

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