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J Biol Chem. 1998 Aug 28;273(35):22395-401.

Molecular characterization and tissue distribution of a new organic anion transporter subtype (oatp3) that transports thyroid hormones and taurocholate and comparison with oatp2.

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  • 1Department of Neurophysiology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai 980-8575, Japan.


Two complementary DNAs for the organic anion transporter subtypes oatp2 and oatp3, which transport thyroid hormones as well as taurocholate, were isolated from a rat retina cDNA library. The sequence of oatp2 is identical to that recently reported (NoƩ, B., Hagenbuch, B., Stieger, B., and Meier, P. J. (1997) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 94, 10346-10350), whereas the sequence of oatp3 is novel. oatp3 consists of 670 amino acid residues and exhibits a structural architecture common to the organic anion transporter family, possessing the 12 putative membrane-spanning segments. Oocytes injected with oatp2 and oatp3 cRNAs showed taurocholate uptake in a saturable manner. The oatp2 and oatp3 cRNA-injected oocytes also showed significant uptake of both thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Northern blot and in situ analyses showed that the oatp2 mRNA was widely expressed in neuronal cells of the central nervous system, especially in the hippocampus, cerebellum, and choroid plexus as well as in the retina and liver. The oatp3 mRNA was highly expressed in the kidney and moderately abundant in the retina. This suggests that oatp2 and oatp3 are multifunctional transporters involved in the transport of thyroid hormones in the brain, retina, liver, and kidney.

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