The transport of monocarboxylates, such as lactate and pyruvate, is mediated by the SLC16A family of proton-linked membrane transport proteins known as monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). Fourteen MCT-related genes have been identified in mammals and of these seven MCTs have been functionally characterized. Despite their sequence homology, only MCT1-4 have been demonstrated to be proton-dependent transporters of monocarboxylic acids. MCT6, MCT8 and MCT10 have been demonstrated to transport diuretics, thyroid hormones and aromatic amino acids, respectively. MCT1-4 vary in their regulation, tissue distribution and substrate/inhibitor specificity with MCT1 being the most extensively characterized isoform. Emerging evidence suggests that in addition to endogenous substrates, MCTs are involved in the transport of pharmaceutical agents, including γ-hydroxybuytrate (GHB), 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins), salicylic acid, and bumetanide. MCTs are expressed in a wide range of tissues including the liver, intestine, kidney and brain, and as such they have the potential to impact a number of processes contributing to the disposition of xenobiotic substrates. GHB has been extensively studied as a pharmaceutical substrate of MCTs; the renal clearance of GHB is dose-dependent with saturation of MCT-mediated reabsorption at high doses. Concomitant administration of GHB and l-lactate to rats results in an approximately two-fold increase in GHB renal clearance suggesting that inhibition of MCT1-mediated reabsorption of GHB may be an effective strategy for increasing renal and total GHB elimination in overdose situations. Further studies are required to more clearly define the role of MCTs on drug disposition and the potential for MCT-mediated detoxification strategies in GHB overdose.
butyrate; gamma-hydroxybutyrate; lactate; monocarboxylate transporters; SLC16A
Amino acid transport by Rhizobium leguminosarum is dominated by two ABC transporters, the general amino acid permease (Aap) and the branched-chain amino acid permease (Bra). However, mutation of these transporters does not prevent this organism from utilizing alanine for growth. An R. leguminosarum permease (MctP) has been identified which is required for optimal growth on alanine as a sole carbon and nitrogen source. Characterization of MctP confirmed that it transports alanine (Km = 0.56 mM) and other monocarboxylates such as lactate and pyruvate (Km = 4.4 and 3.8 μM, respectively). Uptake inhibition studies indicate that propionate, butyrate, α-hydroxybutyrate, and acetate are also transported by MctP, with the apparent affinity for solutes demonstrating a preference for C3-monocarboxylates. MctP has significant sequence similarity to members of the sodium/solute symporter family. However, sequence comparisons suggest that it is the first characterized permease of a new subfamily of transporters. While transport via MctP was inhibited by CCCP, it was not apparently affected by the concentration of sodium. In contrast, glutamate uptake in R. leguminosarum by the Escherichia coli GltS system did require sodium, which suggests that MctP may be proton coupled. Uncharacterized members of this new subfamily have been identified in a broad taxonomic range of species, including proteobacteria of the β-subdivision, gram-positive bacteria, and archaea. A two-component sensor-regulator (MctSR), encoded by genes adjacent to mctP, is required for activation of mctP expression.
Intoxication with γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) is associated with coma, seizure, and death; treatment of overdoses is symptomatic. Previous studies in our laboratory have demonstrated that L-lactate and pyruvate treatment can increase the renal clearance of GHB and increase its elimination in rats, suggesting that GHB may undergo renal reabsorption mediated by monocarboxylic acid transporters (MCTs). The goals of this study were to characterize the renal transport of GHB in rats and to determine the role of MCT in its renal transport. Brush-border membrane (BBM) and basolateral membrane (BLM) vesicles were isolated from rat kidney cortex, and the uptake of L-lactate and GHB was characterized. L-Lactate and GHB undergo both pH- and sodium-dependent transport in BBM vesicles and pH-dependent transport in BLM vesicles. A simple Michaelis-Menten equation best described the pH-dependent uptake of GHB in BBM (Km, 8.0 ± 1.8 mM; Vmax, 838 ± 45 pmol/mg/s) and in BLM vesicles (Km, 10.5 ± 2.6 mM; Vmax, 806 ± 253 pmol/mg/s). mRNA of MCT1 and MCT2 was determined in rat kidney cortex using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction; using Western blot, the protein expression of MCT1 was present mainly in BLM vesicles, with weak expression in BBM vesicles, whereas that of MCT2 was exclusively in BLM vesicles. Studies with rat MCT1 gene-transfected MDA-MB231 cells demonstrated that GHB was a substrate of MCT1. The data suggest that rat MCT1 may represent an important transporter for GHB in renal tubule cells. This investigation provides evidence for the importance of MCTs in the reabsorption of the monocarboxylic acids L-lactate and GHB in the kidney.
GHB, γ-hydroxybutyrate; MCT, monocarboxylate transporter; BBM, brush-border membrane; BLM, basolateral membrane; AA, acetoacetate; BHB, β-hydroxybutyrate; BTD, 1,4-butanediol; CHC, α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate; DIDS, 4,4′-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid disodium salt; TEA, tetraethylammonium; MES, 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid; ALP, alkaline phosphatase; GGT, γ-glutamyl transferase; RT, reverse transcriptase; PCR, polymerase chain reaction; ANOVA, analysis of variance; bp, base pair(s); GBL, γ-butyrolactone
MCT3, a specific marker of differentiated RPE, is downregulated after wounding. This report demonstrates for the first time a role for cell-cell contacts in restoring MCT3 expression after injury.
MCT3 is a proton-coupled monocarboxylate transporter preferentially expressed in the basolateral membrane of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and has been shown to play an important role in regulating pH and lactate concentrations in the outer retina. Decreased expression of MCT3 in response to trauma or disease could contribute to pathologic changes in the retina. The present study followed the expression of MCT3 after wounding and re-epithelialization of chick RPE explant and human fetal (hf) RPE cultures.
Immunofluorescence microscopy and immunoblotting were performed to determine changes in MCT expression after scratch wounding and re-epithelialization of chick RPE/choroid explant cultures and hfRPE cell monolayers.
MCT3 expression and basolateral polarity were maintained in chick RPE/choroid explant cultures and hfRPE monolayers. Wounding resulted in loss of MCT3 and the upregulation of MCT4 expression in migrating cells at the edge of the wound. On re-epithelialization, MCT3 was detected in chick and hfRPE cells when cells became hexagonally packed and pigmented. However, in hfRPE cells, MCT4 was consistently expressed throughout the epithelial monolayer. RPE cells at the edges of chick explants and hfRPE cultures with a free edge expressed MCT4 but not MCT3.
Wounding of RPE monolayers resulted in dedifferentiation of the cells at the edge of the wound, as evidenced by a loss of MCT3 and increased MCT4 expression. Collectively, these findings suggest that both cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions are essential in directing and maintaining differentiation of the RPE and expression of MCT3.
Overdoses of γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), a drug of abuse, result in coma, respiratory arrest, and death. The objective of this study was to evaluate a potential GHB detoxification strategy by inhibiting the monocarboxylate transporter (MCT)-mediated renal reabsorption of GHB in rats, using the MCT substrate L-Lactate. The use of the osmotic diuretic D-mannitol alone or combined with L-Lactate was also explored. GHB (208 mg/h/kg) was infused i.v. for 3 h in the absence or presence of L-Lactate (60.5, 121, and 302.5 mg h−1 kg−1), D-mannitol (0.5 g/kg), or L-Lactate (60.5 mg h−1 kg−1) combined with D-mannitol (0.5 g/kg). GHB in plasma and urine samples was determined along with blood pH, electrolytes, glucose, and L-Lactate. Administration of L-Lactate, or the combination of L-Lactate and D-mannitol, but not D-mannitol alone, significantly increased the renal and total clearances of GHB in rats. Blood pH and electrolyte concentrations exhibited small changes with GHB, GHB/lactate, and GHB/mannitol treatments, although most values remained within their normal range. The concomitant administration of lactated Ringer's solution (28 mM L-Lactate) at 300 µl/min with mannitol (0.5 g/kg) resulted in a significant increase in GHB clearance and a decrease in sleep time after an i.v. dose of 1 g/kg. Overall, our results indicated the following: 1) the use of the MCT inhibitor L-Lactate can increase the renal and total clearances of GHB, and 2) the combination of lactated Ringer's solution and D-mannitol significantly alters GHB toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics and represents a potential clinical detoxification strategy for the treatment of GHB overdoses.
Cancer cells generally have a high rate of glycolysis and produce larger quantities of lactate as compared to the surrounding normal cells. Monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) is one of the proton pumps exchanging the lactate through the plasma membrane. The prognostic significance of MCT4 expression has not been evaluated in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Surgical specimens from 105 CRC patients were immunohistochemically stained using a polyclonal anti-MCT4 antibody. The relationships among the MCT4 expression, clinicopathological factors and prognosis were evaluated. A total of 53 (50.5%) of the 105 patients with CRC were determined to have tumors positive for MCT4 expression. The expression of MCT4 significantly correlated with the tumor size, depth of invasion, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis and TNM staging. The survival rate of the patients who were positive for MCT4 expression was significantly lower than that of patients with negative MCT4 expression. Positive MCT4 expression was a significantly poor prognostic factor, as determined by both univariate and multivariate analyses. Therefore, positive MCT4 expression appears to be a useful marker for tumor progression and prognosis in patients with CRC.
monocarboxylate transporter; monocarboxylate transporter 4; colorectal cancer
Butyrate, a short chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced by bacterial fermentation of undigested carbohydrates in the colon, constitutes the major fuel for colonocytes. We have earlier shown the role of apically localized monocarboxylate transporter isoform 1 (MCT1) in transport of butyrate into human colonic Caco-2 cells. In an effort to study the regulation of MCT1 gene, we and others have cloned the promoter region of the MCT1 gene and identified cis elements for key transcription factors. A previous study has shown up-regulation of MCT1 expression, and activity by butyrate in AA/C1 human colonic epithelial cells, however, the detailed mechanisms of this up-regulation are not known. In this study, we demonstrate that butyrate, a substrate for MCT1, stimulates MCT1 promoter activity in Caco-2 cells. This effect was dose dependent and specific to butyrate as other predominant SCFAs, acetate, and propionate, were ineffective. Utilizing progressive deletion constructs of the MCT1 promoter, we showed that the putative butyrate responsive elements are in the −229/+91 region of the promoter. Butyrate stimulation of the MCT1 promoter was found to be independent of PKC, PKA, and tyrosine kinases. However, specific inhibitors of the NF-κB pathway, lactacystein (LC), and caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE) significantly reduced the MCT1 promoter stimulation by butyrate. Also, butyrate directly stimulated NF-κB-dependent luciferase reporter activity. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) also stimulated MCT1 promoter activity, however, unlike butyrate, this stimulation was unaltered by the NF-κB inhibitors. Further, the combined effect of butyrate, and TSA on MCT1 promoter activity was additive, indicating that their mechanisms of action were independent. Our results demonstrate the involvement of NF-κB pathway in the regulation of MCT1 promoter activity by butyrate.
short chain fattyacids; Caco-2; HDAC; TSA
Monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) has been previously reported as an important determinant of the renal reabsorption of the drug of abuse, γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB). Luteolin is a potent MCT1 inhibitor, inhibiting the uptake of GHB with an IC50 of 0.41 μM in MCT1-transfected MDA-MB231 cells. The objectives of this study were to characterize the effects of luteolin on GHB pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in rats, and to investigate the mechanism of the interaction using model-fitting methods. GHB (400 and 1,000 mg/kg) and luteolin (0, 4 and 10 mg/kg) were administered to rats via iv bolus doses. The plasma or urine concentrations of luteolin and GHB were determined by HPLC and LC/MS/MS, respectively. The pharmacodynamic parameter sleep time in rats after GHB administration was recorded. A pharmacokinetic model containing capacity-limited renal reabsorption and metabolic clearance was constructed to characterize the in vivo interaction. Luteolin significantly decreased the plasma concentration and AUC, and increased the total and renal clearances of GHB. Moreover, luteolin significantly shortened the duration of GHB (1,000 mg/kg)-induced sleep in rats (161 ± 16, 131 ± 14 and 121 ± 5 min for control, luteolin 4 and 10 mg/kg groups, respectively, p < 0.01). An uncompetitive inhibition model, with an inhibition constant of 1.1 μM, best described the in vivo pharmacokinetic interaction. The results of this study indicated that luteolin significantly altered the pharmacokinetics of GHB by inhibiting its MCT1-mediated transport. The interaction between luteolin and GHB may offer a potential clinical detoxification strategy to treat GHB overdoses.
γ-hydroxybutyrate; luteolin; MCT; pharmacokinetic interactions
The metabolism of monocarboxylic acids is of central importance for bacteria in their natural habitat as well as during biotechnological production. Although biosynthesis and degradation are well understood, the transport of such compounds is still a matter of discussion. Here we present the identification and characterization of a new transport system in Corynebacterium glutamicum with high affinity for acetate and propionate and with lower affinity for pyruvate. Biochemical analysis of this monocarboxylic acid transporter (MctC) revealed for the first time a quantitative discrimination of passive diffusion and active transport of acetate by bacterial cells. MctC is a secondary transporter and belongs to the class of sodium solute symporters, but it is driven by the electrochemical proton potential. The mctC gene is preceded by and cotranscribed with cg0952, a locus encoding a small membrane protein, and the transcription of the cg0952-mctC operon is under the control of the transcriptional regulators RamA and RamB. Both of these proteins directly bind to the promoter region of the operon; RamA is essential for expression and RamB exerts a slightly negative control on expression of the cg0952-mctC operon. mctC expression is induced in the presence of pyruvate and beneficial under substrate-limiting conditions for C. glutamicum.
The swimbladder volume is regulated by O2 transfer between the luminal space and the blood In the swimbladder, lactic acid generation by anaerobic glycolysis in the gas gland epithelial cells and its recycling through the rete mirabile bundles of countercurrent capillaries are essential for local blood acidification and oxygen liberation from hemoglobin by the “Root effect.” While O2 generation is critical for fish flotation, the molecular mechanism of the secretion and recycling of lactic acid in this critical process is not clear. To clarify molecules that are involved in the blood acidification and visualize the route of lactic acid movement, we analyzed the expression of 17 members of the H+/monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) family in the fugu genome and found that only MCT1b and MCT4b are highly expressed in the fugu swimbladder. Electrophysiological analyses demonstrated that MCT1b is a high-affinity lactate transporter whereas MCT4b is a low-affinity/high-conductance lactate transporter. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that (i) MCT4b expresses in gas gland cells together with the glycolytic enzyme GAPDH at high level and mediate lactic acid secretion by gas gland cells, and (ii) MCT1b expresses in arterial, but not venous, capillary endothelial cells in rete mirabile and mediates recycling of lactic acid in the rete mirabile by solute-specific transcellular transport. These results clarified the mechanism of the blood acidification in the swimbladder by spatially organized two lactic acid transporters MCT4b and MCT1b.
Tumor metabolism consists of complex interactions between oxygenation states, metabolites, ions, the vascular network and signaling cascades. Accumulation of lactate within tumors has been correlated with poor clinical outcomes. While its production has negative implications, potentially contributing to tumor progression, the implications of the ability of tumors to utilize lactate can offer new therapeutic targets for the future. Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) of the SLC16A gene family influence substrate availability, the metabolic path of lactate and pH balance within the tumor. CD147, a chaperone to some MCT subtypes, contributes to tumor progression and metastasis. The implications and consequences of lactate utilization by tumors are currently unknown; therefore future research is needed on the intricacies of tumor metabolism. The possibility of metabolic modification of the tumor microenvironment via regulation or manipulation of MCT1 and CD147 may prove to be promising avenues of therapeutic options.
Cancer; CD147; lactate; MCT1; MCT1 inhibitors; MCT4; tumor metabolism
Lactate-proton cotransport via MCT1, -2, and -4 is present in corneal endothelium. Lactate-dependent proton flux can activate Na+/H+ exchange and is facilitated by maximizing intracellular buffering capacity through the presence of HCO3−, HCO3− transport, NHE, and CA activity.
To identify and localize the monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) expressed in bovine corneal endothelial cells (BCEC) and to test the hypothesis that buffering contributed by HCO3−, sodium bicarbonate cotransporter (NBCe1), sodium hydrogen exchanger (NHE), and carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity facilitates lactate flux.
MCT1–4 expression was screened by RT-PCR, Western blot analysis, and immunofluorescence. Endogenous lactate efflux and/or pHi were measured in BCEC in HCO3−-free or HCO3−-rich Ringer, with and without niflumic acid (MCT inhibitor), acetazolamide (ACTZ, a CA inhibitor), 5-(N-Ethyl-N-isopropyl)amiloride (EIPA) (Na+/H+ exchange blocker), disodium 4,4′-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2′-disulfonate (DIDS; anion transport inhibitor), or with NBCe1-specific small interfering (si) RNA-treated cells.
MCT1, 2, and 4 are expressed in BCEC. MCT1 was localized to the lateral membrane, MCT2 was lateral and apical, while MCT4 was apical. pHi measurements showed significant lactate-induced cell acidification (LIA) in response to 20-second pulses of lactate. Incubation with niflumic acid significantly reduced the rate of pHi change (dpHi/dt) and lactate-induced cell acidification. EIPA inhibited alkalinization after lactate removal. Lactate-dependent proton flux was significantly greater in the presence of HCO3− but was reduced by ACTZ. Efflux of endogenously produced lactate was significantly faster in the presence of HCO3−, was greater on the apical surface, was reduced on the apical side by ACTZ, as well as on the apical and basolateral side by NBCe1-specific siRNA, DIDS, or EIPA.
MCT1, 2, and 4 are expressed in BCEC on both the apical and basolateral membrane (BL) surfaces consistent with niflumic acid-sensitive lactate-H+ transport. Lactate dependent proton flux can activate Na+/H+ exchange and be facilitated by maximizing intracellular buffering capacity through the presence of HCO3−, HCO3− transport, NHE and CA activity.
The monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8) is a member of the major facilitator superfamily (MFS) and transports specificly iodothyronines. MCT8 mutations are the underlying cause of a syndrome of severe X-linked psychomotor retardation known as the Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by abnormally high T3, low/normal T4 serum levels and slightly elevated serum TSH. To date, more than 25 pathogenic mutations in hMCT8 are known and they are valuable indicators of important regions for structural and functional MCT8 properties.
We designed a structural human MCT8 model and studied reported pathogenic missense mutations with focus on the estimation of those amino acid positions which are probably sensitive for substrate transport. Furthermore, assuming similarities between determinants of T3 binding observed in the published crystal structure of the thyroid hormone receptor beta occupied by its ligand T3 and the structural MCT8 model, we explore potential T3 binding sites in the MCT8 substrate channel cavity.
We found that all known pathogenic missense mutations are located exclusively in the transmembrane helices and to a high degree at conserved residues among the MCT family. Furthermore, mutations either of or to prolines/glycines are located mainly at helices 9-12 and are expected to cause steric clashes or structural misfolding. In contrast, several other mutations are close to the potential substrate channel and affected amino acids are likely involved in the switching mechanism between different transporter conformations. Finally, three potential substrate binding sites are predicted for MCT8.
Naturally occurring mutations of MCT8 provide molecular insights into protein regions important for protein folding, substrate binding and the switching mechanism during substrate transport. Future studies guided by this information should help to clarify structure-function relationships at MCT8 which may bear broader relevance for other members of the MCT family. This includes decoding of the complete set of transport-sensitive residue positions and description of structural re-arrangements during transport.
Hypoxia and oncogene expression both stimulate glycolytic metabolism in tumors, thereby leading to lactate production. However, lactate is more than merely a by-product of glycolysis: it can be used as a metabolic fuel by oxidative cancer cells. This phenomenon resembles processes that have been described for skeletal muscle and brain that involve what are known as cell-cell and intracellular lactate shuttles. Two control points regulate lactate shuttles: the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)-dependent conversion of lactate into pyruvate (and back), and the transport of lactate into and out of cells through specific monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). In tumors, MCT4 is largely involved in hypoxia-driven lactate release, whereas the uptake of lactate into both tumor cells and tumor endothelial cells occurs via MCT1. Translating knowledge of lactate shuttles to the cancer field offers new perspectives to therapeutically target the hypoxic tumor microenvironment and to tackle tumor angiogenesis.
Monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) facilitates the transport of monocarboxylate fuels (lactate, pyruvate and ketone bodies) and acidic drugs, such as valproic acid, across cell membranes. We recently reported that MCT1 is deficient on microvessels in the epileptogenic hippocampal formation in patients with medication-refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). To further define the role of MCT1 in the pathophysiology of TLE, we used immunohistochemistry and stereological analysis to localize and quantify the transporter in the hippocampal formation in three novel and highly relevant rat models of TLE and in nonepileptic control animals. One model utilizes methionine sulfoximine to induce brain glutamine synthetase deficiency and recurrent limbic seizures, while two models employ an episode of perforant pathway stimulation to cause epilepsy. MCT1 was lost on microvessels and upregulated on astrocytes in the hippocampal formation in all models of TLE. Notably, the loss of MCT1 on microvessels was not due to a reduction in microvessel density. The similarities in MCT1 expression among human subjects with TLE and several animal models of the disease strongly suggest a critical role of this molecule in the pathogenesis of TLE. We hypothesize that the downregulation of MCT1 may promote seizures via impaired uptake of ketone bodies and antiepileptic drugs by the epileptogenic brain. We also propose that the overexpression of MCT1 on astrocytes may lead to increased uptake or release of monocarboxylates by these cells, with important implications for brain metabolism and excitability. These hypotheses can now be rigorously tested in several animal models that replicate key features of human TLE.
animal models; blood-brain barrier; glutamine synthetase; hippocampal sclerosis; ketone bodies; ketogenic diet
Many solute transporters are heterodimers comprised of non-glycosylated catalytic and glycosylated accessory subunits. These transporters are specifically polarized to the apical or basolateral membranes of epithelia but this polarity may vary to fulfill tissue-specific functions. To date, the mechanisms regulating the tissue-specific polarity of heteromeric transporters remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the sorting signals that determine the polarity of three members of the proton-coupled monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) family, MCT1, MCT3 and MCT4, and their accessory subunit CD147. We show that MCT3 and MCT4 harbor strong redundant basolateral sorting signals (BLSS) in their C-terminal cytoplasmic tails that can direct fusion proteins with the apical marker p75 to the basolateral membrane. In contrast, MCT1 lacks a BLSS and its polarity is dictated by CD147, which contains a weak BLSS that can direct Tac, but not p75 to the basolateral membrane. Knockdown experiments in MDCK cells indicated that basolateral sorting of MCTs was clathrin-dependent but clathrin adaptor AP1B-independent. Our results explain the consistently basolateral localization of MCT3 and MCT4 and the variable localization of MCT1 in different epithelia. They introduce a new paradigm for the sorting of heterodimeric transporters in which a hierarchy of apical and basolateral sorting signals in the catalytic and/or accessory subunits regulates their tissue-specific polarity.
basolateral sorting signal; monocarboxylate transporter; CD147; MDCK; retinal pigment epithelium
Metabolic interaction via lactate between glial cells and neurons has been proposed as one of the mechanisms involved in hypothalamic glucosensing. We have postulated that hypothalamic glial cells, also known as tanycytes, produce lactate by glycolytic metabolism of glucose. Transfer of lactate to neighboring neurons stimulates ATP synthesis and thus contributes to their activation. Because destruction of third ventricle (III-V) tanycytes is sufficient to alter blood glucose levels and food intake in rats, it is hypothesized that tanycytes are involved in the hypothalamic glucose sensing mechanism. Here, we demonstrate the presence and function of monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) in tanycytes. Specifically, MCT1 and MCT4 expression as well as their distribution were analyzed in Sprague Dawley rat brain, and we demonstrate that both transporters are expressed in tanycytes. Using primary tanycyte cultures, kinetic analyses and sensitivity to inhibitors were undertaken to confirm that MCT1 and MCT4 were functional for lactate influx. Additionally, physiological concentrations of glucose induced lactate efflux in cultured tanycytes, which was inhibited by classical MCT inhibitors. Because the expression of both MCT1 and MCT4 has been linked to lactate efflux, we propose that tanycytes participate in glucose sensing based on a metabolic interaction with neurons of the arcuate nucleus, which are stimulated by lactate released from MCT1 and MCT4-expressing tanycytes.
In the present study we characterize the properties of the potent MCT1 (monocarboxylate transporter 1) inhibitor AR-C155858. Inhibitor titrations of L-lactate transport by MCT1 in rat erythrocytes were used to determine the Ki value and number of AR-C155858-binding sites (Et) on MCT1 and the turnover number of the transporter (kcat). Derived values were 2.3±1.4 nM, 1.29±0.09 nmol per ml of packed cells and 12.2±1.1 s−1 respectively. When expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, MCT1 and MCT2 were potently inhibited by AR-C155858, whereas MCT4 was not. Inhibition of MCT1 was shown to be time-dependent, and the compound was also active when microinjected, suggesting that AR-C155858 probably enters the cell before binding to an intracellular site on MCT1. Measurement of the inhibitor sensitivity of several chimaeric transporters combining different domains of MCT1 and MCT4 revealed that the binding site for AR-C155858 is contained within the C-terminal half of MCT1, and involves TM (transmembrane) domains 7–10. This is consistent with previous data identifying Phe360 (in TM10) and Asp302 plus Arg306 (TM8) as key residues in substrate binding and translocation by MCT1. Measurement of the Km values of the chimaeras for L-lactate and pyruvate demonstrate that both the C- and N-terminal halves of the molecule influence transport kinetics consistent with our proposed molecular model of MCT1 and its translocation mechanism that requires Lys38 in TM1 in addition to Asp302 and Arg306 in TM8 [Wilson, Meredith, Bunnun, Sessions and Halestrap (2009) J. Biol. Chem. 284, 20011–20021].
chimaeric transporter; erythrocyte; lactate transport; monocarboxylate transporter (MCT); Xenopus oocytes; BCECF, 2′-7′-bis(carboxyethyl)-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein; DIDS, di-isothiocyanostilbene disulfonate; MCT, monocarboxylate transporter; TM, transmembrane
Tumors contain oxygenated and hypoxic regions, so the tumor cell population is heterogeneous. Hypoxic tumor cells primarily use glucose for glycolytic energy production and release lactic acid, creating a lactate gradient that mirrors the oxygen gradient in the tumor. By contrast, oxygenated tumor cells have been thought to primarily use glucose for oxidative energy production. Although lactate is generally considered a waste product, we now show that it is a prominent substrate that fuels the oxidative metabolism of oxygenated tumor cells. There is therefore a symbiosis in which glycolytic and oxidative tumor cells mutually regulate their access to energy metabolites. We identified monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) as the prominent path for lactate uptake by a human cervix squamous carcinoma cell line that preferentially utilized lactate for oxidative metabolism. Inhibiting MCT1 with α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate (CHC) or siRNA in these cells induced a switch from lactate-fueled respiration to glycolysis. A similar switch from lactate-fueled respiration to glycolysis by oxygenated tumor cells in both a mouse model of lung carcinoma and xenotransplanted human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells was observed after administration of CHC. This retarded tumor growth, as the hypoxic/glycolytic tumor cells died from glucose starvation, and rendered the remaining cells sensitive to irradiation. As MCT1 was found to be expressed by an array of primary human tumors, we suggest that MCT1 inhibition has clinical antitumor potential.
Monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) facilitates the transport of important metabolic fuels (lactate, pyruvate and ketone bodies) and possibly also acidic drugs such as valproic acid across the blood brain barrier. Because an impaired brain energy metabolism and resistance to antiepileptic drugs are common features of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), we sought to study the expression of MCT1 in the brain of patients with this disease. Immunohistochemistry and immunogold electron microscopy were used to assess the distribution of MCT1 in brain specimens from patients with TLE and concomitant hippocampal sclerosis (referred to as mesial TLE or MTLE (n = 15)), patients with TLE and no hippocampal sclerosis (non-MTLE, n = 13) and neurologically normal autopsy subjects (n = 8). MCT1 was present on an extensive network of microvessels throughout the hippocampal formation in autopsy controls and to a lesser degree in non-MTLE. Patients with MTLE were markedly deficient in MCT1 on microvessels in several areas of the hippocampal formation, especially CA1, which exhibited a 37 to 48% loss of MCT1 on the plasma membrane of endothelial cells when compared with non-MTLE. These findings suggest that the uptake of blood-derived monocarboxylate fuels and possibly also acidic drugs, such as valproic acid, is perturbed in the epileptogenic hippocampus, particularly in MTLE. We hypothesize that the loss of MCT1 on brain microvessels is mechanistically involved in the pathophysiology of drug-resistant TLE, and propose that re-expression of MCT1 may represent a novel therapeutic approach for this disease.
blood-brain barrier; epilepsy; hippocampal sclerosis; ketogenic diet; mesial temporal sclerosis; valproic acid
Thyroid hormones (TH) are essential for the development of the human brain, growth and cellular metabolism. Investigation of TH transporters became one of the emerging fields in thyroid research after the discovery of inactivating mutations in the Monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8), which was found to be highly specific for TH transport. However, additional transmembrane transporters are also very important for TH uptake and efflux in different cell types. They transport TH as secondary substrates and include the aromatic amino acid transporting MCT10, the organic anion transporting polypeptides (e.g. OATP1C1, OATP1A2, OPTP1A4) and the large neutral amino acid transporters (LAT1 and LAT2). These TH transporters characteristically possess 12 transmembrane spanners but due to the strong differing sequences between the three transporter families we assume an identical conformation is not very likely. In contrast to the others, the LAT family members form a heterodimer with the escort protein 4F2hc/CD98. A comparison of sequence proportions, locations and types of functional sensitive features for TH transport discovered by mutations, revealed that transport sensitive charged residues occur as conserved amino acids only within each family of the transporter types but not in all putative TH transporters. Based on the lack of highly conserved sensitive charged residues throughout the three transporter families as a common counterpart for the amino acid moiety of the substrates, we conclude that the molecular transport mechanism is likely organized either a) by different molecular determinants in the divergent transporter types or b) the counterparts for the substrates` amino acid moiety at the transporter are not any charged side chains but other proton acceptors or donators. However, positions of transport sensitive residues coincide at transmembrane helix 8 in the TH transporter MCT8, OATP1C1 and another amino acid transporter, the L-cystine and L-glutamate exchanger xCT, which is highly homologous to LAT1 and LAT2. Here we review the data available and compare similarities and differences between these primary and secondary TH transporters regarding sequences, topology, potential structures, trafficking to the plasma membrane, molecular features and locations of transport sensitive functionalities. Thereby, we focus on TH transporters occurring in the blood-brain barrier.
Stroke is not only more prevalent but is also associated with more severe adverse functional outcomes among patients with sleep apnea. Monocarboxylate transporters (MCT) are important regulators of cellular bioenergetics, have been implicated in brain susceptibility to acute severe hypoxia (ASH), and could underlie the unfavorable prognosis of cerebrovascular accidents in sleep apnea patients. Rodents were exposed to either intermittent hypoxia (IH) during sleep, a characteristic feature of sleep apnea, or to sustained hypoxia (SH), and expression of MCT1 and MCT2 was assessed. In addition, the functional recovery to MCAO in rats and hMCT2 transgenic mice and of hippocampal slices subjected to ASH was assessed, as well as the effects of MCT blocker and MCT2 antisense oligonucleotides and siRNAs. IH, but not SH, induced significant reductions in MCT2 expression over time at both the mRNA and protein levels, and in the functional recovery of hippocampal slices subjected to ASH. Similarly, MCAO-induced infarcts were significantly greater in IH-exposed rats and mice, and over-expression of hMCT2 in mice markedly attenuated the adverse effects of IH. Exogenous pyruvate treatment reduced infarct volumes in normoxic rats but not in IH-exposed rats. Administration of he MCT2 blocker 4CN, but not the MCT1 antagonist pCMBS, increased infarct size. Thus, prolonged exposures to IH mimicking sleep apnea are associated with increased CNS vulnerability to ischemia that is mediated, at least in part, by concomitant decreases in the expression and function of MCT2. Efforts to develop agonists of MCT2 should provide opportunities to ameliorate the overall outcome of stroke.
To evaluate the presence of components of a putative Intracellular Lactate Shuttle (ILS) in neurons, we attempted to determine if monocarboxylate (e.g. lactate) transporter isoforms (MCT1 and -2) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are coexpressed in neuronal mitochondria of rat brains. Immunohistochemical analyses of rat brain cross-sections showed MCT1, MCT2, and LDH to colocalize with the mitochondrial inner membrane marker cytochrome oxidase (COX) in cortical, hippocampal, and thalamic neurons. Immunoblotting after immunoprecipitation (IP) of mitochondria from brain homogenates supported the histochemical observations by demonstrating that COX coprecipitated MCT1, MCT2, and LDH. Additionally, using primary cultures from rat cortex and hippocampus as well as immunohistochemistry and immunocoprecipitation techniques, we demonstrated that MCT2 and LDH are coexpressed in mitochondria of cultured neurons. These findings can be interpreted to mean that, as in skeletal muscle, neurons contain a mitochondrial lactate oxidation complex (mLOC) that has the potential to facilitate both intracellular and cell-cell lactate shuttles in brain.
In pancreatic β cells, elevated glucose concentrations stimulate mitochondrial oxidative metabolism to raise intracellular ATP/ADP levels, prompting insulin secretion. Unusually low levels of expression of genes encoding the plasma membrane monocarboxylate transporter, MCT1 (SLC16A1), as well as lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) ensure that glucose-derived pyruvate is efficiently metabolized by mitochondria, while exogenous lactate or pyruvate is unable to stimulate metabolism and hence insulin secretion inappropriately. We show here that whereas DNA methylation at the Mct1 promoter is unlikely to be involved in cell-type-specific transcriptional repression, three microRNAs (miRNAs), miR-29a, miR-29b, and miR-124, selectively target both human and mouse MCT1 3′ untranslated regions. Mutation of the cognate miR-29 or miR-124 binding sites abolishes the effects of the corresponding miRNAs, demonstrating a direct action of these miRNAs on the MCT1 message. However, despite reports of its expression in the mouse β-cell line MIN6, miR-124 was not detectably expressed in mature mouse islets. In contrast, the three isoforms of miR-29 are highly expressed and enriched in mouse islets. We show that inhibition of miR-29a in primary mouse islets increases Mct1 mRNA levels, demonstrating that miR-29 isoforms contribute to the β-cell-specific silencing of the MCT1 transporter and may thus affect insulin release.
In mammalian cells, MCTs (monocarboxylate transporters) require association with an ancillary protein to enable plasma membrane expression of the active transporter. Basigin is the preferred binding partner for MCT1, MCT3 and MCT4, and embigin for MCT2. In rat and rabbit erythrocytes, MCT1 is associated with embigin and basigin respectively, but its sensitivity to inhibition by AR-C155858 was found to be identical. Using RT (reverse transcription)–PCR, we have shown that Xenopus laevis oocytes contain endogenous basigin, but not embigin. Co-expression of exogenous embigin was without effect on either the expression of MCT1 or its inhibition by AR-C155858. In contrast, expression of active MCT2 at the plasma membrane of oocytes was significantly enhanced by co-expression of exogenous embigin. This additional transport activity was insensitive to inhibition by AR-C155858 unlike that by MCT2 expressed with endogenous basigin that was potently inhibited by AR-C155858. Chimaeras and C-terminal truncations of MCT1 and MCT2 were also expressed in oocytes in the presence and absence of exogenous embigin. L-Lactate Km values for these constructs were determined and revealed that the TM (transmembrane) domains of an MCT, most probably TM7–TM12, but not the C-terminus, are the major determinants of L-lactate affinity, whereas the associated ancillary protein has little or no effect. Inhibitor titrations of lactate transport by these constructs indicated that embigin modulates MCT2 sensitivity to AR-C155858 through interactions with both the intracellular C-terminus and TMs 3 and 6 of MCT2. The C-terminus of MCT2 was found to be essential for its expression with endogenous basigin.
basigin; embigin; erythrocyte; lactate transport; monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1); monocarboxylate transporter 2 (MCT2); BCECF, 2′,7′-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein; CFP, cyan fluorescent protein; EST, expressed sequance tag; FRET, fluorescence resonance energy transfer; HA, haemagglutinin; MCT, monocarboxylate transporter; MCT1trn, MCT1 without C-terminus; MCT1/2c, MCT1 with MCT2 C-terminus; MCT2trn, MCT2 without C-terminus; MCT2/1c, MCT2 with MCT1 C-terminus; pCMBS, p-chloromercuribenzene sulfonate; RT, reverse transcription; TM, transmembrane; WT, wild-type; YFP, yellow fluorescent protein