Rodent intestinal folate transporters (SLC46A1): secondary structure, functional properties, and response to dietary folate restriction.
ABSTRACT This laboratory recently identified a human gene that encodes a novel folate transporter [Homo sapiens proton-coupled folate transporter (HsPCFT); SLC46A1] required for intestinal folate absorption. This study focused on mouse (Mus musculus) PCFT (MmPCFT) and rat (Rattus norvegicus) PCFT (RnPCFT) and addresses their secondary structure, specificity, tissue expression, and regulation by dietary folates. Both rodent PCFT proteins traffic to the cell membrane with the NH(2)- and COOH-termini accessible to antibodies targeted to these domains only in permeabilized HeLa cells. This, together with computer-based topological analyses, is consistent with a model in which rodent PCFT proteins likely contain 12 transmembrane domains. Transport of [(3)H]folates was optimal at pH 5.5 and decreased with increasing pH due to an increase in K(m) and a decrease in V(max). At pH 7.0, folic acid and methotrexate influx was negligible, but there was residual (6S)5-methyltetrahydrofolate transport. Uptake of folates in PCFT-injected Xenopus oocytes was electrogenic and pH dependent. Folic acid influx K(m) values of MmPCFT and RnPCFT, assessed electrophysiologically, were 0.7 and 0.3 microM at pH 5.5 and 1.1 and 0.8 microM at pH 6.5, respectively. Rodent PCFTs were highly specific for monoglutamyl but not polyglutamyl methotrexate. MmPCFT mRNA was highly expressed in the duodenum, proximal jejunum, liver, and kidney with lesser expression in the brain and other tissues. MmPCFT protein was localized to the apical brush-border membrane of the duodenum and proximal jejunum. MmPCFT mRNA levels increased approximately 13-fold in the proximal small intestine in mice fed a folate-deficient vesus folate-replete diet, consistent with the critical role that PCFT plays in intestinal folate absorption.
Article: Vulnerability of the cysteine-less proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT-SLC46A1) to mutational stress associated with the substituted cysteine accessibility method.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The proton-coupled transporter (PCFT) mediates intestinal folate absorption and folate transport from blood across the choroid plexus. The membrane topology of PCFT has been defined using the substituted cysteine accessibility method; an intramolecular disulfide bond between the Cys 66 and 298 residues, in the first and fourth extracellular loops, respectively, is present but not essential for function. The current report describes Lys 422 mutations (K422C, K422E) that have no effect on transport activity when introduced into wild-type PCFT but result in a marked loss of activity when introduced into a Cys-less PCFT which is otherwise near-fully functional. The loss of activity of both mutant PCFTs was shown to be due to impaired protein stability and expression. Additional studies were conducted with the K422C mutation in Cys-less PCFT. The impact of re-introduction of one, two, three or five, Cys residues was assessed. While there were some differences in the impact of the different Cys residues re-introduced, restoration was attributed more to a cumulative effect rather than the specific role of individual Cys residues. Preservation of the Cys66-Cys298 intramolecular disulfide bond was not required for stability of the K422C protein. These observations are relevant to studies with Cys-less transporters utilized for the characterization of proteins with the substituted cysteine accessibility method and indicate that functional defects detected in a Cys-less protein, when the tertiary structure of the molecule is stressed, are not necessarily relevant to the wild-type protein.Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 01/2011; 1808(4):1140-5. · 4.66 Impact Factor
Article: Identification of novel mutations in the proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT-SLC46A1) associated with hereditary folate malabsorption.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Hereditary folate malabsorption (HFM) is an autosomal recessive disorder, recently shown to be due to loss-of-function mutations of the proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT-SLC46A1), resulting in systemic and central nervous system folate deficiency. Data is emerging on the spectrum of PCFT mutations associated with this disorder. In this report, novel mutations are described in three subjects with HFM: A335D/N68Kfs (c.1004C>A/c.204-205delCC), compound heterozygous mutations, and two homozygous PCFT mutations, G338R (c.1012G>C) and E9Gfs (c.17-18insC). Functional assessment of A335D and G338R PCFT mutants transfected into folate transporter-deficient HeLa R1-11 cells indicated a complete loss of transport activity. There were neurological deficiencies in two of the families reported; in particular, late-onset seizures. The importance of early diagnosis and treatment to achieve physiological cerebrospinal fluid folate levels is emphasized.Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 01/2011; 103(1):33-7. · 3.19 Impact Factor
Article: Subcellular localization and distribution of the reduced folate carrier in normal rat tissues.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The reduced folate carrier (Rfc1; Slc19a1) mediated transport of reduced folates and antifolate drugs such as methotrexate (MTX) play an essential role in physiological folate homeostasis and MTX cancer chemotherapy. As no systematic reports are as yet available correlating Rfc1 gene expression and protein levels in all tissues crucial for folate and antifolate uptake, storage or elimination, we investigated gene and protein expression of rat Rfc1 (rRfc1) in selected tissues. This included the generation of a specific anti-rRfc1 antibody. Rabbits were immunised with isolated rRfc1 peptides producing specific anti-rRfc1 antiserum targeted to the intracellular C-terminus of the carrier. Using RT-PCR analysis, high rRfc1 transcript levels were detected in colon, kidney, brain, thymus, and spleen. Moderate rRfc1 gene expression was observed in small intestine, liver, bone marrow, lung, and testes whereas transcript levels were negligible in heart, skeletal muscle or leukocytes. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed strong carrier expression in the apical membrane of tunica mucosa epithelial cells of small intestine and colon, in the brush-border membrane of choroid plexus epithelial cells or in endothelial cells of small vessels in brain and heart. Additionally, high rRfc1 protein levels were localized in the basolateral membrane of renal tubular epithelial cells, in the plasma membrane of periportal hepatocytes, and sertoli cells of the testes. Taken together, our results demonstrated that rRfc1 is expressed almost ubiquitously but to very different levels. The predominant tissue distribution supports the essential role of Rfc1 in physiological folate homeostasis. Moreover, our results may contribute to understand antifolate pharmacokinetics and selected organ toxicity associated with MTX chemotherapy.European journal of histochemistry: EJH 01/2011; 55(1):e3. · 1.69 Impact Factor