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J Physiol. 1995 Jan;482:7S-17S.

Mammalian ion-coupled solute transporters.

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Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Active transport of solutes into and out of cells proceeds via specialized transporters that utilize diverse energy-coupling mechanisms. Ion-coupled transporters link uphill solute transport to downhill electrochemical ion gradients. In mammals, these transporters are coupled to the co-transport of H+, Na+, Cl- and/or to the countertransport of K+ or OH-. By contrast, ATP-dependent transporters are directly energized by the hydrolysis of ATP. The development of expression cloning approaches to select cDNA clones solely based on their capacity to induce transport function in Xenopus oocytes has led to the cloning of several ion-coupled transporter cDNAs and revealed new insights into structural designs, energy-coupling mechanisms and physiological relevance of the transporter proteins. Different types of mammalian ion-coupled transporters are illustrated by discussing transporters isolated in our own laboratory such as the Na+/glucose co-transporters SGLT1 and SGLT2, the H(+)-coupled oligopeptide transporters PepT1 and PepT2, and the Na(+)- and K(+)-dependent neuronal and epithelial high affinity glutamate transporter EAAC1. Most mammalian ion-coupled organic solute transporters studied so far can be grouped into the following transporter families: (1) the predominantly Na(+)-coupled transporter family which includes the Na+/glucose co-transporters SGLT1, SGLT2, SGLT3 (SAAT-pSGLT2) and the inositol transporter SMIT, (2) the Na(+)- and Cl(-)-coupled transporter family which includes the neurotransmitter transporters of gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, glycine and proline as well as transporters of beta-amino acids, (3) the Na(+)- and K(+)-dependent glutamate/neurotransmitter family which includes the high affinity glutamate transporters EAAC1, GLT-1, GLAST, EAAT4 and the neutral amino acid transporters ASCT1 and SATT1 reminiscent of system ASC and (4) the H(+)-coupled oligopeptide transporter family which includes the intestinal H(+)-dependent oligopeptide transporter PepT1.

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