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Biochemistry. 1989 May 30;28(11):4580-94.

Analysis of protein-mediated 3-O-methylglucose transport in rat erythrocytes: rejection of the alternating conformation carrier model for sugar transport.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01605.


3-O-Methylglucose (3OMG) transport in rat erythrocytes (RBCs) is mediated by a low-capacity, facilitated diffusion-type process. This study examines whether the characteristics of sugar transport in rat RBCs are consistent with the predictions of two diametric, theoretical mechanisms for sugar transport. The one-site carrier describes a transport mechanism in which sugar influx and efflux substrate binding sites are mutually exclusive. The two-site carrier describes a transport mechanism in which sugar influx and efflux substrate binding sites can exist simultaneously but may interact in a cooperative fashion when occupied by substrate. Michaelis and velocity parameters for saturable 3OMG transport in rat erythrocytes at 24 degrees C were obtained from initial rate measurements of 3OMG transport. The results are incompatible with the predictions of the one-site carrier but are consistent with the predictions of a symmetric two-site carrier, displaying negligible cooperativity between substrate binding sites. This allows reduction of the two-site carrier transport equations to a form containing fewer constants than the one-site carrier equations without limiting their predictive success. While the available evidence does not prove that rat erythrocyte sugar transport is mediated by a two-site mechanism, we conclude that adoption of the formally more complex one-site model for sugar transport in rat erythrocytes is unnecessary and unwarranted. Counterflow experiments have also been performed in which the time course of radiolabeled 3OMG uptake is measured in cells containing saturating levels of 3OMG. The results of these experiments are consistent with the hypothesis [Naftalin et al. (1985) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 820, 235-249] that exchange of sugar between intracellular compartments (cell water and hemoglobin) can be rate limiting for transport under certain conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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