Archives of biochemistry and biophysics

Protein kinase C restricts transport of carnitine by amino acid transporter ATB(0,+) apically localized in the blood-brain barrier.

PMID 24823859


Carnitine (3-hydroxy-4-trimethylammoniobutyrate) is necessary for transfer of fatty acids through the inner mitochondrial membrane. Carnitine, not synthesized in the brain, is delivered there through the strongly polarized blood-brain barrier (BBB). Expression and presence of two carnitine transporters - organic cation/carnitine transporter (OCTN2) and amino acid transporter B(0,+) (ATB(0,+)) have been demonstrated previously in an in vitro model of the BBB. Due to potential protein kinase C (PKC) phosphorylation sites within ATB(0,+) sequence, the present study verified effects of this kinase on transporter function and localization in the BBB. ATB(0,+) can be regulated by estrogen receptor α and up-regulated in vitro, therefore its presence in vivo was verified with the transmission electron microscopy. The analyses of brain slices demonstrated ATB(0,+) luminal localization in brain capillaries, confirmed by biotinylation experiments in an in vitro model of the BBB. Brain capillary endothelial cells were shown to control carnitine gradient. ATB(0,+) was phosphorylated by PKC, what correlated with inhibition of carnitine transport. PKC activation did not change the amount of ATB(0,+) present in the apical membrane of brain endothelial cells, but resulted in transporter exclusion from raft microdomains. ATB(0,+) inactivation by a lateral movement in plasma membrane after transporter phosphorylation has been postulated.

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Levocarnitine, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard