Na+-stimulated amino acid transport was investigated in MDCK kidney epithelial cell monolayers and in isolated membrane vesicles. When transport polarity was assessed in confluent polarized epithelial cell monolayers cultured on Nucleopore filters and mounted between two lucite chambers, Na+-stimulated transport of 2-(methylamino)isobutyric acid (MeAIB), a substrate specific for the A system, was predominantly localized on the basolateral membrane. Na+-stimulated amino acid transport activity was maximal in subconfluent cultures, and was substantially reduced after confluence. A membrane vesicle preparation was isolated from confluent MDCK cell cultures which was enriched in Na+-stimulated MeAIB transport activity and Na+,K+,ATPase activity, a basolateral marker, but was not enriched in apical marker enzyme activities or significantly contaminated by mitochondria. Na+-coupled amino acid transport activity assayed in vesicles exhibited a marked dependence on external pH, with an optimum at pH 7.4. The pattern of competitive interactions among neutral amino acids was characteristic of A system transport. Na+-coupled MeAIB and AIB transport in vesicles was electrogenic, stimulated by creation of an interior-negative membrane potential. The Na+ dependence of amino acid transport in vesicles suggested a Na+ symport mechanism with a 1:1 stoichiometry between Na+ and amino acid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology