The Journal of biological chemistry

Cloning and functional expression of a brain peptide/histidine transporter.

PMID 9092568


Here we report the cloning and functional characterization of a rat novel peptide/histidine transporter (PHT1), which was expressed in the brain and the retina. The cDNA encodes the predicted protein of 572 amino acid residues with 12 putative membrane-spanning domains. The amino acid sequence has moderate homology with a nonspecific peptide transporter found in the plant. When expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, PHT1 cRNA induced high affinity proton-dependent histidine transport activity. This transport process was inhibited by dipeptides and tripeptides but not by free amino acids such as glutamate, glycine, leucine, methionine, and aspartate. Dipeptide carnosine transport activity was also confirmed by direct uptake measurement. By in situ hybridization analysis, PHT1 mRNA was widely distributed throughout whole brain. Especially, intense hybridization signals were found in the hippocampus, choroid plexus, cerebellum, and pontine nucleus. Signals were located in both the neuronal and small nonneuronal cells in these areas. PHT1 protein could contribute to uptake of oligopeptides, which function as neuromodulators, and clearance of degraded neuropeptides and be a new member in the growing superfamily of proton-coupled peptide and nitrate transporters, although its structure, localization, and pharmacological characteristics are unique among these members.

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