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Nature. 1998 Sep 17;395(6699):288-91.

Amino-acid transport by heterodimers of 4F2hc/CD98 and members of a permease family.

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Institute of Physiology, University of Z├╝rich, Switzerland.


Amino-acid transport across cellular plasma membranes depends on several parallel-functioning (co-)transporters and exchangers. The widespread transport system L accounts for a sodium-independent exchange of large, neutral amino acids, whereas the system y(+)L exchanges positively charged amino acids and/or neutral amino acids together with sodium. The molecular nature of these transporters remains unknown, although expression of the human cell-surface glycoprotein 4F2 heavy chain (h4F2hc; CD98 in the mouse) is known to induce low levels of L- and/or y(+)L-type transport. This glycoprotein is found in activated lymphocytes, together with an uncharacterized, disulphide-linked lipophilic light chain with an apparent relative molecular mass of 40,000 (M(r) 40K). Here we identify the permease-related protein E16 as the first light chain of h4F2hc and show that the resulting heterodimeric complex mediates L-type amino-acid transport. The homologous protein from Schistosoma mansoni, SPRM1, also associates covalently with coexpressed h4F2hc glycoprotein, although it induces amino-acid transport of different substrate specificity. The coexpression of h4F2hc is required for surface expression of these permease-related light chains, which belong to a new family of amino-acid transporters that form heterodimers with cell-surface glycoproteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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