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J Neurochem. 1998 Jul;71(1):388-93.

The peptide transporter PepT2 mediates the uptake of the glutathione precursor CysGly in astroglia-rich primary cultures.

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Physiologisch-chemisches Institut der Universität, Tübingen, Germany.


The intracellular content of glutathione in astroglia-rich primary cultures derived from the brains of newborn rats was used as an indicator for the ability of these cultures to utilize cysteinylglycine (CysGly) for glutathione synthesis. After a 24-h starvation period in the absence of glucose and amino acids, CysGly was able to substitute for cysteine plus glycine in the restoration of glutathione. Glutathione restoration from CysGly plus glutamate was only slightly affected by the dipeptides carnosine or serylglycine in a 200-fold excess. Captopril, a substrate of the peptide transporter PepT1, had almost no effect on glutathione restoration. In contrast, with increasing concentrations of alanylalanine or cefadroxil, known substrates of the peptide transporter PepT2, the amount of glutathione restored in the presence of CysGly and glutamate was strongly reduced. Cefadroxil in a 200-fold excess totally prevented the utilization of CysGly for glutathione restoration. The presence of mRNA for PepT2 in astroglia-rich primary cultures was demonstrated by application of RT-PCR. These results demonstrate that PepT2 is expressed in astroglia-rich primary cultures and that this transporter is highly likely to be responsible for the uptake of CysGly in these cultures.

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