In pro- and eucaryotic life, cellular and subcellular compartments are separated by membranes and the regulated and selective passage of specific molecules across these membranes is a basic and highly conserved principle.
We were interested whether taurine, a naturally occuring amino acid, would be able to induce or suppress expression of transporters with the Rationale that taurine was shown to detoxify a series of endogenous toxins and xenobiotics of various chemically non-related structures.
For this purpose we used a gene hunting technique, subtractive hybridization, subtracting mRNAs of taurine-treated rat brain and heart from untreated controls. Subtracted mRNAs were then converted to cDNAs, amplified, sequenced and identified by gene bank data.
We found five transporter transcripts, the phosphonate transport ATPase PHNC, multidrug transporter homolog MTH104, protein-exportmembrane protein SECD, oligopeptide transporters oppA and oppD, in the brain and two: ABC-transporter BRAF-2 and cation-transport ATPase PACS, in the heart. Homologies of the sequences found were in any case >50% thus permitting the identification of transporters with high probability.
The biological meaning could be that a naturally occuring amino acid, taurine, modulates complex transport systems. The most prominent finding is the upregulation of a multidrug transporter transcript, explaining a mechanism for the nonselective detoxifying action of taurine.
Amino acids Taurine Transporter Rat Brain Heart
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