PloS one

Molecular Mechanisms Mediating the Adaptive Regulation of Intestinal Riboflavin Uptake Process.

PMID 26121134


The intestinal absorption process of vitamin B2 (riboflavin, RF) is carrier-mediated, and all three known human RF transporters, i.e., hRFVT-1, -2, and -3 (products of the SLC52A1, 2 & 3 genes, respectively) are expressed in the gut. We have previously shown that the intestinal RF uptake process is adaptively regulated by substrate level, but little is known about the molecular mechanism(s) involved. Using human intestinal epithelial NCM460 cells maintained under RF deficient and over-supplemented (OS) conditions, we now show that the induction in RF uptake in RF deficiency is associated with an increase in expression of the hRFVT-2 & -3 (but not hRFVT-1) at the protein and mRNA levels. Focusing on hRFVT-3, the predominant transporter in the intestine, we also observed an increase in the level of expression of its hnRNA and activity of its promoter in the RF deficiency state. An increase in the level of expression of the nuclear factor Sp1 (which is important for activity of the SLC52A3 promoter) was observed in RF deficiency, while mutating the Sp1/GC site in the SLC52A3 promoter drastically decreased the level of induction in SLC52A3 promoter activity in RF deficiency. We also observed specific epigenetic changes in the SLC52A3 promoter in RF deficiency. Finally, an increase in hRFVT-3 protein expression at the cell surface was observed in RF deficiency. Results of these investigations show, for the first time, that transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms are involved in the adaptive regulation of intestinal RF uptake by the prevailing substrate level.