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1.  Modeling and Simulation of Intracellular Drug Transport and Disposition Pathways with Virtual Cell 
The development of computational approaches for modeling the spatiotemporal dynamics of intracellular, small molecule drug concentrations has become an increasingly important area of pharmaceutical research. For systems pharmacology, the system dynamics of subcellular transport can be coupled to downstream pharmacological effects on biochemical pathways that impact cell structure and function. Here, we demonstrate how a widely used systems biology modeling package – Virtual Cell – can also be used to model the intracellular, passive transport pathways of small druglike molecules. Using differential equations to represent passive drug transport across cellular membranes, spatiotemporal changes in the intracellular distribution and concentrations of exogenous chemical agents in specific subcellular organelles were simulated for weakly acidic, neutral, and basic molecules, as a function of the molecules’ lipophilicity and ionization potentials. In addition, we simulated the transport properties of small molecule chemical agents in the presence of a homogenous extracellular concentration or a transcellular concentration gradient. We also simulated the effects of cell type-dependent variations in the intracellular microenvironments on the distribution and accumulation of small molecule chemical agents in different organelles over time, under influx and efflux conditions. Lastly, we simulated the transcellular transport of small molecule chemical agents, in the presence of different apical and basolateral microenvironments. By incorporating existing models of drug permeation and subcellular distribution, our results indicate that Virtual Cell can provide a user-friendly, open, online computational modeling platform for systems pharmacology and biopharmaceutics research, making mathematical models and simulation results accessible to a broad community of users, without requiring advanced computer programming knowledge.
PMCID: PMC3869409  PMID: 24364041
Virtual Cell; Drug Disposition; Simulation and Modeling; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacology; Computational Biology; Systems Biology; Systems Pharmacology
2.  Simulation-based cheminformatic analysis of organelle-targeted molecules: lysosomotropic monobasic amines 
Cell-based molecular transport simulations are being developed to facilitate exploratory cheminformatic analysis of virtual libraries of small drug-like molecules. For this purpose, mathematical models of single cells are built from equations capturing the transport of small molecules across membranes. In turn, physicochemical properties of small molecules can be used as input to simulate intracellular drug distribution, through time. Here, with mathematical equations and biological parameters adjusted so as to mimic a leukocyte in the blood, simulations were performed to analyze steady state, relative accumulation of small molecules in lysosomes, mitochondria, and cytosol of this target cell, in the presence of a homogenous extracellular drug concentration. Similarly, with equations and parameters set to mimic an intestinal epithelial cell, simulations were also performed to analyze steady state, relative distribution and transcellular permeability in this non-target cell, in the presence of an apical-to-basolateral concentration gradient. With a test set of ninety-nine monobasic amines gathered from the scientific literature, simulation results helped analyze relationships between the chemical diversity of these molecules and their intracellular distributions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10822-008-9194-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2516532  PMID: 18338229
Cheminformatics; Lysosomotropic; Cellular pharmacokinetics; Drug transport; Small molecule permeability; Subcellular localization; Simulation; Rational drug design
Molecular pharmaceutics  2006;3(6):704-716.
In the body, cell monolayers serve as permeability barriers, determining transport of drug molecules from one organ or tissue compartment to another. After oral administration, for example, drug transport across the epithelial cell monolayer lining the lumen of the intestine determines the fraction of drug in the gut that is absorbed by the body. By modeling passive transcellular transport properties in the presence of an apical to basolateral concentration gradient, we demonstrate how a computational, cell-based molecular transport simulator can be used to define a physicochemical property space occupied by molecules with desirable permeability and intracellular retention characteristics. Considering extracellular domains of cell surface receptors located on the opposite side of a cell monolayer as a drug’s desired site-of-action, simulation of transcellular transport can be used to define the physicochemical properties of molecules with maximal transcellular permeability but minimal intracellular retention. Arguably, these molecules would possess very desirable features: least likely to exhibit non-specific toxicity, metabolism and side effects associated with high (undesirable) intracellular accumulation; and, most likely to exhibit favorable bioavailability and efficacy associated with maximal rates of transport across cells and minimal intracellular retention, resulting in (desirable) accumulation at the extracellular site-of-action. Calculated permeability predictions showed good correlations with PAMPA, Caco2, and intestinal permeability measurements, without “training” the model and without resorting to statistical regression techniques to “fit” the data. Therefore, cell-based molecular transport simulators could be useful in silico screening tools for chemical genomics and drug discovery.
PMCID: PMC2710883  PMID: 17140258
Metoprolol; permeability; chemical space; computer aided drug design; virtual screening; chemical genomics; cellular pharmacokinetics; cheminformatics; drug transport; PAMPA; Biopharmaceutics Classification System
4.  Cellular NH4+/K+ transport pathways in mouse medullary thick limb of Henle. Regulation by intracellular pH 
The Journal of General Physiology  1992;99(3):435-461.
Fluorescence and electrophysiological methods were used to determine the effects of intracellular pH (pHi) on cellular NH4+/K+ transport pathways in the renal medullary thick ascending limb of Henle (MTAL) from CD1 mice. Studies were performed in suspensions of MTAL tubules (S- MTAL) and in isolated, perfused MTAL segments (IP-MTAL). Steady-state pHi measured using 2,7-biscarboxyethyl-5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF) averaged 7.42 +/- 0.02 (mean +/- SE) in S-MTAL and 7.26 +/- 0.04 in IP- MTAL. The intrinsic cellular buffering power of MTAL cells was 29.7 +/- 2.4 mM/pHi unit at pHi values between 7.0 and 7.6, but below a pHi of 7.0 the intrinsic buffering power increased linearly to approximately 50 mM/pHi unit at pHi 6.5. In IP-MTAL, NH4+ entered cells across apical membranes via both Ba(2+)-sensitive pathway and furosemide-sensitive Na+:K+(NH4+):2Cl- cotransport mechanisms. The K0.5 and maximal rate for combined apical entry were 0.5 mM and 83.3 mM/min, respectively. The apical Ba(2+)-sensitive cell conductance in IP-MTAL (Gc), which reflects the apical K+ conductance, was sensitive to pHi over a pHi range of 6.0-7.4 with an apparent K0.5 at pHi approximately 6.7. The rate of cellular NH4+ influx in IP-MTAL due to the apical Ba(2+)- sensitive NH4+ transport pathway was sensitive to reduction in cytosolic pH whether pHi was changed by acidifying the basolateral medium or by inhibition of the apical Na+:H+ exchanger with amiloride at a constant pHo of 7.4. The pHi sensitivities of Gc and apical, Ba(2+)-sensitive NH4+ influx in IP-MTAL were virtually identical. The pHi sensitivity of the Ba(2+)-sensitive NH4+ influx in S-MTAL when exposed to (apical+basolateral) NH4Cl was greater than that observed in IP-MTAL where NH4Cl was added only to apical membranes, suggesting an additional effect of intracellular NH4+/NH3 on NH4+ influx. NH4+ entry via apical Na+:K+ (NH4+):2Cl- cotransport in IP-MTAL was somewhat more sensitive to reductions in pHi than the Ba(2+)-sensitive NH4+ influx pathway; NH4+ entry decreased by 52.9 +/- 13.4% on reducing pHi from 7.31 +/- 0.17 to 6.82 +/- 0.14. These results suggest that pHi may provide a negative feedback signal for regulating the rate of apical NH4+ entry, and hence transcellular NH4+ transport, in the MTAL. A model incorporating these results is proposed which illustrates the role of both pHi and basolateral/intracellular NH4+/NH3 in regulating the rate of transcellular N H4+ transport in the MTAL.
PMCID: PMC2216601  PMID: 1588302
5.  In vitro placental model optimization for nanoparticle transport studies 
Advances in biomedical nanotechnology raise hopes in patient populations but may also raise questions regarding biodistribution and biocompatibility, especially during pregnancy. Special consideration must be given to the placenta as a biological barrier because a pregnant woman’s exposure to nanoparticles could have significant effects on the fetus developing in the womb. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to optimize an in vitro model for characterizing the transport of nanoparticles across human placental trophoblast cells.
The growth of BeWo (clone b30) human placental choriocarcinoma cells for nanoparticle transport studies was characterized in terms of optimized Transwell® insert type and pore size, the investigation of barrier properties by transmission electron microscopy, tight junction staining, transepithelial electrical resistance, and fluorescein sodium transport. Following the determination of nontoxic concentrations of fluorescent polystyrene nanoparticles, the cellular uptake and transport of 50 nm and 100 nm diameter particles was measured using the in vitro BeWo cell model.
Particle size measurements, fluorescence readings, and confocal microscopy indicated both cellular uptake of the fluorescent polystyrene nanoparticles and the transcellular transport of these particles from the apical (maternal) to the basolateral (fetal) compartment. Over the course of 24 hours, the apparent permeability across BeWo cells grown on polycarbonate membranes (3.0 μm pore size) was four times higher for the 50 nm particles compared with the 100 nm particles.
The BeWo cell line has been optimized and shown to be a valid in vitro model for studying the transplacental transport of nanoparticles. Fluorescent polystyrene nanoparticle transport was size-dependent, as smaller particles reached the basal (fetal) compartment at a higher rate.
PMCID: PMC3273982  PMID: 22334780
nanoparticles; placenta; BeWo cells; transport; model optimization; nanotoxicology
6.  Ionic conductance pathways in the mouse medullary thick ascending limb of Henle. The paracellular pathway and electrogenic Cl- absorption 
The Journal of General Physiology  1986;87(4):567-590.
Net Cl- absorption in the mouse medullary thick ascending limb of Henle (mTALH) involves a furosemide-sensitive Na+:K+:2 Cl- apical membrane symport mechanism for salt entry into cells, which occurs in parallel with a Ba++-sensitive apical K+ conductance. The present studies, using the in vitro microperfused mouse mTALH, assessed the concentration dependence of blockade of this apical membrane K+-conductive pathway by Ba++ to provide estimates of the magnitudes of the transcellular (Gc) and paracellular (Gs) electrical conductances (millisiemens per square centimeter). These studies also evaluated the effects of luminal hypertonicity produced by urea on the paracellular electrical conductance, the electrical Na+/Cl- permselectivity ratio, and the morphology of in vitro mTALH segments exposed to peritubular antidiuretic hormone (ADH). Increasing luminal Ba++ concentrations, in the absence of luminal K+, produced a progressive reduction in the transcellular conductance that was maximal at 20 mM Ba++. The Ba++- sensitive transcellular conductance in the presence of ADH was 61.8 +/- 1.7 mS/cm2, or approximately 65% of the total transepithelial conductance. In phenomenological terms, the luminal Ba++-dependent blockade of the transcellular conductance exhibited negative cooperativity. The transepithelial osmotic gradient produced by luminal urea produced blebs on apical surfaces, a striking increase in shunt conductance, and a decrease in the shunt Na+/Cl- permselectivity (PNa/PCl), which approached that of free solution. The transepithelial conductance obtained with luminal 800 mM urea, 20 mM Ba++, and 0 K+ was 950 +/- 150 mS/cm2 and provided an estimate of the maximal diffusion resistance of intercellular spaces, exclusive of junctional complexes. The calculated range for junctional dilution voltages owing to interspace salt accumulation during ADH-dependent net NaCl absorption was 0.7-1.1 mV. Since the Ve accompanying ADH-dependent net NaCl absorption is 10 mV, lumen positive, virtually all of the spontaneous transepithelial voltage in the mouse mTALH is due to transcellular transport processes. Finally, we developed a series of expressions in which the ratio of net Cl- absorption to paracellular Na+ absorption could be expressed in terms of a series of electrical variables. Specifically, an analysis of paired measurement of PNa/PCl and Gs was in agreement with an electroneutral Na+:K+:2 Cl- apical entry step. Thus, for net NaCl absorption, approximately 50% of Na+ was absorbed via a paracellular route.
PMCID: PMC2215874  PMID: 3701299
7.  Basolateral Mg2+ Extrusion via CNNM4 Mediates Transcellular Mg2+ Transport across Epithelia: A Mouse Model 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(12):e1003983.
Transcellular Mg2+ transport across epithelia, involving both apical entry and basolateral extrusion, is essential for magnesium homeostasis, but molecules involved in basolateral extrusion have not yet been identified. Here, we show that CNNM4 is the basolaterally located Mg2+ extrusion molecule. CNNM4 is strongly expressed in intestinal epithelia and localizes to their basolateral membrane. CNNM4-knockout mice showed hypomagnesemia due to the intestinal malabsorption of magnesium, suggesting its role in Mg2+ extrusion to the inner parts of body. Imaging analyses revealed that CNNM4 can extrude Mg2+ by exchanging intracellular Mg2+ with extracellular Na+. Furthermore, CNNM4 mutations cause Jalili syndrome, characterized by recessive amelogenesis imperfecta with cone-rod dystrophy. CNNM4-knockout mice showed defective amelogenesis, and CNNM4 again localizes to the basolateral membrane of ameloblasts, the enamel-forming epithelial cells. Missense point mutations associated with the disease abolish the Mg2+ extrusion activity. These results demonstrate the crucial importance of Mg2+ extrusion by CNNM4 in organismal and topical regulation of magnesium.
Author Summary
Magnesium is an essential element for living organisms. Its absorption occurs at the intestine through the barrier comprised of epithelial cells. In this process, transcellular Mg2+ transport across epithelia, involving both entry from one side and extrusion from the other side, is important. Previous studies have revealed the role of Mg2+-permeable channel protein in Mg2+ entry into the epithelial cells. However, the identity of proteins involved in Mg2+ extrusion to the inner parts of body has remained unknown. Mice genetically engineered not to express CNNM4, which localizes to the epithelial membrane facing to the inner parts of body, show hypomagnesemia due to the defect in magnesium absorption. Functional analyses using culture cells directly reveal that CNNM4 can extrude intracellular Mg2+ to the outside of cells. These results indicate that CNNM4 mediates transcellular Mg2+ transport across the intestinal epithelia. Furthermore, we also show that these CNNM4-lacking mice also have a defect in amelogenesis, which is consistent with the disease symptoms of Jalili syndrome that is known to be caused by mutations in the CNNM4 gene.
PMCID: PMC3854942  PMID: 24339795
8.  Contributions of cellular leak pathways to net NaHCO3 and NaCl absorption. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1989;83(6):1859-1867.
Proton and formic acid permeabilities were measured in the in vivo microperfused rat proximal convoluted tubule by examining the effect on intracellular pH when [H] and/or [formic acid] were rapidly changed in the luminal or peritubular fluids. Apical and basolateral membrane H permeabilities were 0.52 +/- 0.07 and 0.67 +/- 0.18 cm/s, respectively. Using these permeabilities we calculate that proton backleak from the luminal fluid to cell does not contribute significantly to net proton secretion in the early proximal tubule, but may contribute in the late proximal tubule. Apical and basolateral membrane formic acid permeabilities measured at extracellular pH 6.62 were 4.6 +/- 0.5 X 10(-2) and 6.8 +/- 1.5 X 10(-2) cm/s, respectively. Control studies demonstrated that the formic acid permeabilities were not underestimated by either the simultaneous movement of formate into the cell or the efflux of formic acid across the opposite membrane. The measured apical membrane formic acid permeability is too small to support all of transcellular NaCl absorption in the rat by a mechanism that involves Na/H-Cl/formate transporters operating in parallel with formic acid nonionic diffusion.
PMCID: PMC303906  PMID: 2542374
9.  Physiologic upper limits of pore size of different blood capillary types and another perspective on the dual pore theory of microvascular permeability 
Much of our current understanding of microvascular permeability is based on the findings of classic experimental studies of blood capillary permeability to various-sized lipid-insoluble endogenous and non-endogenous macromolecules. According to the classic small pore theory of microvascular permeability, which was formulated on the basis of the findings of studies on the transcapillary flow rates of various-sized systemically or regionally perfused endogenous macromolecules, transcapillary exchange across the capillary wall takes place through a single population of small pores that are approximately 6 nm in diameter; whereas, according to the dual pore theory of microvascular permeability, which was formulated on the basis of the findings of studies on the accumulation of various-sized systemically or regionally perfused non-endogenous macromolecules in the locoregional tissue lymphatic drainages, transcapillary exchange across the capillary wall also takes place through a separate population of large pores, or capillary leaks, that are between 24 and 60 nm in diameter. The classification of blood capillary types on the basis of differences in the physiologic upper limits of pore size to transvascular flow highlights the differences in the transcapillary exchange routes for the transvascular transport of endogenous and non-endogenous macromolecules across the capillary walls of different blood capillary types.
The findings and published data of studies on capillary wall ultrastructure and capillary microvascular permeability to lipid-insoluble endogenous and non-endogenous molecules from the 1950s to date were reviewed. In this study, the blood capillary types in different tissues and organs were classified on the basis of the physiologic upper limits of pore size to the transvascular flow of lipid-insoluble molecules. Blood capillaries were classified as non-sinusoidal or sinusoidal on the basis of capillary wall basement membrane layer continuity or lack thereof. Non-sinusoidal blood capillaries were further sub-classified as non-fenestrated or fenestrated based on the absence or presence of endothelial cells with fenestrations. The sinusoidal blood capillaries of the liver, myeloid (red) bone marrow, and spleen were sub-classified as reticuloendothelial or non-reticuloendothelial based on the phago-endocytic capacity of the endothelial cells.
The physiologic upper limit of pore size for transvascular flow across capillary walls of non-sinusoidal non-fenestrated blood capillaries is less than 1 nm for those with interendothelial cell clefts lined with zona occludens junctions (i.e. brain and spinal cord), and approximately 5 nm for those with clefts lined with macula occludens junctions (i.e. skeletal muscle). The physiologic upper limit of pore size for transvascular flow across the capillary walls of non-sinusoidal fenestrated blood capillaries with diaphragmed fenestrae ranges between 6 and 12 nm (i.e. exocrine and endocrine glands); whereas, the physiologic upper limit of pore size for transvascular flow across the capillary walls of non-sinusoidal fenestrated capillaries with open 'non-diaphragmed' fenestrae is approximately 15 nm (kidney glomerulus). In the case of the sinusoidal reticuloendothelial blood capillaries of myeloid bone marrow, the transvascular transport of non-endogenous macromolecules larger than 5 nm into the bone marrow interstitial space takes place via reticuloendothelial cell-mediated phago-endocytosis and transvascular release, which is the case for systemic bone marrow imaging agents as large as 60 nm in diameter.
The physiologic upper limit of pore size in the capillary walls of most non-sinusoidal blood capillaries to the transcapillary passage of lipid-insoluble endogenous and non-endogenous macromolecules ranges between 5 and 12 nm. Therefore, macromolecules larger than the physiologic upper limits of pore size in the non-sinusoidal blood capillary types generally do not accumulate within the respective tissue interstitial spaces and their lymphatic drainages. In the case of reticuloendothelial sinusoidal blood capillaries of myeloid bone marrow, however, non-endogenous macromolecules as large as 60 nm in diameter can distribute into the bone marrow interstitial space via the phago-endocytic route, and then subsequently accumulate in the locoregional lymphatic drainages of tissues following absorption into the lymphatic drainage of periosteal fibrous tissues, which is the lymphatic drainage of myeloid bone marrow. When the ultrastructural basis for transcapillary exchange across the capillary walls of different capillary types is viewed in this light, it becomes evident that the physiologic evidence for the existence of aqueous large pores ranging between 24 and 60 nm in diameter in the capillary walls of blood capillaries, is circumstantial, at best.
PMCID: PMC2928191  PMID: 20701757
10.  Fitting the Elementary Rate Constants of the P-gp Transporter Network in the hMDR1-MDCK Confluent Cell Monolayer Using a Particle Swarm Algorithm 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e25086.
P-glycoprotein, a human multidrug resistance transporter, has been extensively studied due to its importance to human health and disease. In order to understand transport kinetics via P-gp, confluent cell monolayers overexpressing P-gp are widely used. The purpose of this study is to obtain the mass action elementary rate constants for P-gp's transport and to functionally characterize members of P-gp's network, i.e., other transporters that transport P-gp substrates in hMDR1-MDCKII confluent cell monolayers and are essential to the net substrate flux. Transport of a range of concentrations of amprenavir, loperamide, quinidine and digoxin across the confluent monolayer of cells was measured in both directions, apical to basolateral and basolateral to apical. We developed a global optimization algorithm using the Particle Swarm method that can simultaneously fit all datasets to yield accurate and exhaustive fits of these elementary rate constants. The statistical sensitivity of the fitted values was determined by using 24 identical replicate fits, yielding simple averages and standard deviations for all of the kinetic parameters, including the efflux active P-gp surface density. Digoxin required additional basolateral and apical transporters, while loperamide required just a basolateral tranporter. The data were better fit by assuming bidirectional transporters, rather than active importers, suggesting that they are not MRP or active OATP transporters. The P-gp efflux rate constants for quinidine and digoxin were about 3-fold smaller than reported ATP hydrolysis rate constants from P-gp proteoliposomes. This suggests a roughly 3∶1 stoichiometry between ATP hydrolysis and P-gp transport for these two drugs. The fitted values of the elementary rate constants for these P-gp substrates support the hypotheses that the selective pressures on P-gp are to maintain a broad substrate range and to keep xenobiotics out of the cytosol, but not out of the apical membrane.
PMCID: PMC3196501  PMID: 22028772
11.  Does apical membrane GLUT2 have a role in intestinal glucose uptake? 
F1000Research  2014;3:304.
It has been proposed that the non-saturable component of intestinal glucose absorption, apparent following prolonged exposure to high intraluminal glucose concentrations, is mediated via the low affinity glucose and fructose transporter, GLUT2, upregulated within the small intestinal apical border.
The evidence that the non-saturable transport component is mediated via an apical membrane sugar transporter is that it is inhibited by phloretin, after exposure to phloridzin. Since the other apical membrane sugar transporter, GLUT5, is insensitive to inhibition by either cytochalasin B, or phloretin, GLUT2 was deduced to be the low affinity sugar transport route.
As in its uninhibited state, polarized intestinal glucose absorption depends both on coupled entry of glucose and sodium across the brush border membrane and on the enterocyte cytosolic glucose concentration exceeding that in both luminal and submucosal interstitial fluids, upregulation of GLUT2 within the intestinal brush border will usually stimulate downhill glucose reflux to the intestinal lumen from the enterocytes; thereby reducing, rather than enhancing net glucose absorption across the luminal surface.
These states are simulated with a computer model generating solutions to the differential equations for glucose, Na and water flows between luminal, cell, interstitial and capillary compartments. The model demonstrates that uphill glucose transport via SGLT1 into enterocytes, when short-circuited by any passive glucose carrier in the apical membrane, such as GLUT2, will reduce transcellular glucose absorption and thereby lead to increased paracellular flow. The model also illustrates that apical GLUT2 may usefully act as an osmoregulator to prevent excessive enterocyte volume change with altered luminal glucose concentrations.
PMCID: PMC4309173
12.  Molecular Mechanism of Renal Tubular Secretion of the Antimalarial Drug Chloroquine ▿ 
The antimalarial drug chloroquine is eliminated to a significant extent by renal tubular secretion. The molecular mechanism of renal chloroquine secretion remains unknown. We hypothesized that organic cation transporter 2 (OCT2) and multidrug and toxin extrusion protein 1 (MATE1), localized in the basolateral and luminal membranes of proximal tubule cells, respectively, are involved in chloroquine transport. The interaction of chloroquine with both transporters was investigated using single-transfected human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293)-MATE1 cells in uptake experiments and single-transfected Madin-Darby canine kidney II (MDCK)-OCT2 and MDCK-MATE1 cells as well as double-transfected MDCK-OCT2-MATE1 cells grown as polarized monolayers on transwell filters. In HEK293-MATE1 cells, chloroquine competitively inhibited MATE1-mediated metformin uptake (Ki = 2.8 μM). Cellular accumulation of chloroquine was significantly lower (P < 0.001) and transcellular chloroquine transport was significantly increased (P < 0.001) in MDCK-MATE1 and MDCK-OCT2-MATE1 cells compared to vector control cells after basal addition of chloroquine (0.1 to 10 μM). In contrast, no difference in cellular accumulation or transcellular transport of chloroquine was observed between MDCK-OCT2 and vector control cells. In line with an oppositely directed proton gradient acting as a driving force for MATE1, basal-to-apical transport of chloroquine by MDCK-OCT2-MATE1 cells increased with decreasing apical pH from 7.8 to 6.0. Transcellular transport of chloroquine by MDCK-OCT2-MATE1 cells was inhibited by cimetidine, trimethoprim, and amitriptyline. Our data demonstrate that chloroquine is a substrate and potent competitive inhibitor of MATE1, whereas OCT2 seems to play no role in chloroquine uptake. Concomitantly administered MATE1 inhibitors are likely to modify the renal secretion of chloroquine.
PMCID: PMC3122445  PMID: 21518836
13.  Transcellular water flow modulates water channel exocytosis and endocytosis in kidney collecting tubule. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1991;88(2):423-429.
The regulation of osmotic water permeability (Pf) by vasopressin (VP) in kidney collecting tubule involves the exocytic-endocytic trafficking of vesicles containing water channels between an intracellular compartment and apical plasma membrane. To examine effects of transcellular water flow on vesicle movement, Pf was measured with 1-s time resolution in the isolated perfused rabbit cortical collecting tubule in response to addition and removal of VP (250 microU/ml) in the presence of bath greater than lumen (B greater than L), lumen greater than bath (L greater than B), and lumen = bath (L = B) osmolalities. With VP addition, Pf increased from 12 to 240-270 x 10(-4) cm/s (37 degrees C) in 10 min. At 1 min, Pf was approximately 70 x 10(-4) cm/s for B greater than L, L greater than B, and L = B conditions. At later times, Pf increased fastest for L greater than B and slowest for B greater than L osmolalities; at 5 min, Pf was 250 x 10(-4) cm/s (L greater than B) and 158 x 10(-4) cm/s (B greater than L). With VP removal, Pf returned to pre-VP levels at the fastest rate for B greater than L and the slowest rate for L greater than B osmolalities; at 30 min, Pf was 65 x 10(-4) cm/s (B greater than L) and 183 x 10(-4) cm/s (L greater than B). For a series of osmotic gradients of different magnitudes and directions, the rates of Pf increase and decrease were dependent upon the magnitude of transcellular volume flow; control studies showed that paracellular water flux, asymmetric transcellular water pathways, or changes in cell volume could not account for the data. VP-dependent endocytosis was measured by apical uptake of rhodamine-dextran; in paired studies where the same tubule was used for + and - gradients, B greater than L and L greater than B osmolalities gave 168% and 82% of uptake measured with no gradient. In contrast, endocytosis in proximal tubule was not dependent on gradient direction. These data provide evidence that transcellular volume flow modulates the vasopressin-dependent cycling of vesicles containing water channels, suggesting a novel driving mechanism to aid or oppose the targeted, hormonally directed movement of subcellular membranes.
PMCID: PMC295348  PMID: 1864956
14.  Apical membrane limits urea permeation across the rat inner medullary collecting duct. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1990;86(4):1172-1178.
Urea diffuses across the terminal inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) via a facilitated transport pathway. To examine the mechanism of transcellular urea transport, membrane-apparent urea (Purea) and osmotic water (Pf) permeabilities of IMCD cells were measured by quantitative light microscopy in isolated IMCD-2 tubules perfused in the absence of vasopressin. Basolateral membrane Pf, determined by addition of raffinose to the bath, was 69 microns/s. Basolateral membrane Purea, determined by substituting urea for raffinose without change in osmolality, was 14 X 10(-5) cm/s. Bath phloretin inhibited basolateral Purea by 85% without a significant effect on Pf. The basolateral reflection coefficient for urea, determined by addition of urea in the presence of phloretin, was 1.0. These results indicate that urea crosses the basolateral membrane by diffusion, and not by solvent drag. In perfused tubules, the rate of cell swelling following substitution of urea for mannitol was significantly greater with bath than lumen changes. After correcting for membrane surface area, the basolateral membrane was twofold more permeable than the apical membrane. Conclusions: (a) in the absence of vasopressin, urea permeation across the IMCD cell is limited by the apical membrane; (b) the basolateral membrane contains a phloretin-sensitive urea transporter; (c) transepithelial urea transport occurs by movement of urea through the IMCD cell.
PMCID: PMC296847  PMID: 2212006
15.  Mechanism of apical and basolateral Na(+)-independent Cl-/base exchange in the rabbit superficial proximal straight tubule. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1994;94(1):173-183.
The present study was undertaken to determine the magnitude and mechanism of base transport via the apical and basolateral Na(+)-independent Cl-/base exchangers in rabbit isolated perfused superficial S2 proximal tubules. The results demonstrate that there is an apical Na(+)-independent Cl-/base exchanger on both membranes. HCO3- fails to stimulate apical Cl-/base exchange in contrast to the basolateral exchanger. Inhibition of endogenous HCO3- production does not alter the rate of apical Cl-/base exchange in Hepes-buffered solutions. Both exchangers are inhibited by H2DIDS and furosemide; however, the basolateral anion exchanger is more sensitive to these inhibitors. The results indicate that the apical and basolateral Cl-/base exchangers differ in their transport properties and are able to transport base equivalents in the absence of formate. The formate concentration in rabbit arterial serum is approximately 6 microM and in vitro tubule formate production is < 0.6 pmol/min per mm. Formate in the micromolar range stimulates Jv in a dose-dependent manner in the absence of a transepithelial Na+ and Cl- gradient and without a measurable effect on Cl(-)-induced equivalent base flux. Apical formic acid recycling cannot be an important component of any cell model, which accounts for formic acid stimulation of transcellular NaCl transport in the rabbit superficial S2 proximal tubule. We propose that transcellular NaCl transport in this nephron segment is mediated by an apical Na+/H+ exchanger in parallel with a Cl-/OH- exchanger and that the secreted H+ and OH- ions form H2O in the tubule lumen.
PMCID: PMC296295  PMID: 8040258
16.  Effects of ammonium on intracellular pH in rat medullary thick ascending limb: mechanisms of apical membrane NH4+ transport 
The Journal of General Physiology  1994;103(5):917-936.
The renal medullary thick ascending limb (MTAL) actively reabsorbs ammonium ions. To examine the effects of NH4+ transport on intracellular pH (pHi) and the mechanisms of apical membrane NH4+ transport, MTALs from rats were isolated and perfused in vitro with 25 mM HCO3(-)-buffered solutions (pH 7.4). pHi was monitored using the fluorescent dye BCECF. In the absence of NH4+, the mean pHi was 7.16. Luminal addition of 20 mM NH4+ caused a rapid intracellular acidification (dpHi/dt = 11.1 U/min) and reduced the steady state pHi to 6.67 (delta pHi = 0.5 U), indicating that apical NH4+ entry was more rapid than entry of NH3. Luminal furosemide (10(-4) M) reduced the initial rate of cell acidification by 70% and the fall in steady state pHi by 35%. The residual acidification observed with furosemide was inhibited by luminal barium (12 mM), indicating that apical NH4+ entry occurred via both furosemide (Na(+)-NH4(+)-2Cl- cotransport) and barium- sensitive pathways. The role of these pathways in NH4+ absorption was assessed under symmetric ammonium conditions. With 4 mM NH4+ in perfusate and bath, mean steady state pHi was 6.61 and net ammonium absorption was 12 pmol/min/mm. Addition of furosemide to the lumen abolished net ammonium absorption and caused pHi to increase abruptly (dpHi/dt = 0.8 U/min) to 7.0. Increasing luminal [K+] from 4 to 25 mM caused a similar, rapid cell alkalinization. The pronounced cell alkalinization observed with furosemide or increasing [K+] was not observed in the absence of NH4+. In symmetric 4 mM NH4+ solutions, addition of barium to the lumen caused a slow intracellular alkalinization and reduced net ammonium absorption only by 14%. Conclusions: (a) ammonium transport is a critical determinant of pHi in the MTAL, with NH4+ absorption markedly acidifying the cells and maneuvers that inhibit apical NH4+ uptake (furosemide or elevation of luminal [K+]) causing intracellular alkalinization; (b) most or all of transcellular ammonium absorption is mediated by apical membrane Na(+)- NH4(+)-2Cl- cotransport; (c) NH4+ also permeates a barium-sensitive apical membrane transport pathway (presumably apical membrane K+ channels) but this pathway does not contribute significantly to ammonium absorption under physiologic (symmetric ammonium) conditions.
PMCID: PMC2219218  PMID: 8035168
17.  Expression of macrophage-lymphocyte Fc receptors in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells: polarity and transcytosis differ for isoforms with or without coated pit localization domains 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1989;109(6):3291-3302.
Many cells of the immune system and certain epithelia express receptors for the Fc domain of IgG (FcR). On mouse macrophages and lymphocytes, two distinct receptor isoforms have been identified, designated FcRII- B1 and FcRII-B2. The isoforms are identical except for an in-frame insertion of 47 amino acids in the cytoplasmic tail of FcRII-B1 that blocks its ability to be internalized by clathrin-coated pits. We have recently found that at least one IgG-transporting epithelium, namely placental syncytial trophoblasts, expresses transcripts encoding a receptor similar or identical to macrophage-lymphocyte FcRII. To determine whether FcRII of hematopoietic cells might also function as a transcytotic receptor if expressed in epithelial cells, FcRII-B1 and - B2 were transfected into Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells and grown on permeable filter units. The two FcRII isoforms exhibited different patterns of polarized expression: FcRII-B1 was localized mainly to the apical plasma membrane domain, whereas FcRII-B2 was found predominantly on the basolateral surface. As expected for FcR in placenta, FcRII-B2 and to a lesser extent FcRII-B1 mediated transcellular transport of IgG-complexes from the apical to the basolateral plasma membrane. Neither receptor mediated transcytosis in the opposite direction, although FcRII-B2 also delivered ligand to lysosomes when internalized from either the basolateral or apical domains. Furthermore, FcRII-B2 was capable of transporting monovalent antireceptor antibody Fab fragments across the cell, suggesting that transcytosis was not dependent on receptor cross-linking. These findings suggest the possibility that FcRII can mediate transepithelial IgG transport when expressed in placental syncytial trophoblasts in addition to its "classical" endocytic and signaling activities when expressed in macrophages. Because FcRII-B1 and -B2 are expressed with distinct polarities, the results also suggest that interactions with clathrin-coated pits may play a role in generating the polarized distribution of at least some plasma membrane proteins in MDCK cells.
PMCID: PMC2115896  PMID: 2574723
18.  Transcellular migration of neutrophil granulocytes through the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier after infection with Streptococcus suis 
A critical point during the course of bacterial meningitis is the excessive influx of polymorphnuclear neutrophils (PMNs) from the blood into the brain. Both paracellular and transcellular routes of leukocyte transmigration through the blood-brain barrier have been described in CNS diseases so far. Thus, we investigated the mechanism of PMN transmigration through the blood-CSF barrier under inflammatory conditions.
In an "inverted" Transwell culture model of the blood-CSF barrier, the zoonotic agent Streptococcus suis (S. suis) was used to stimulate porcine choroid plexus epithelial cells (PCPECs) specifically from the physiologically relevant basolateral side. Barrier function was analyzed by measuring TEER and TR-dextran-flux, and tight junction morphology was investigated by immunofluorescence. Route and mechanism of PMN transmigration were determined by immunofluorescence, electron microscopy and FACS analysis. Quantitative real time-PCR was used to determine expression levels of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1.
Here, we show that the transmigration of PMNs through PCPECs was significantly higher after stimulation with TNFα or infection with S. suis strain 10 compared to its non-encapsulated mutant. Barrier function was not significantly affected by PMN migration alone, but in combination with S. suis infection. Tight junction and cytoskeletal actin reorganisation were also observed after stimulation with S. suis or TNFα. Most strikingly, PMNs preferentially migrated across PCPECs via the transcellular route. Extensive sequential analyses of the PMN transmigration process with Apotome®-imaging and electron microscopy revealed that paracellular migrating PMNs stop just before tight junctions. Interestingly, PMNs subsequently appeared to proceed by transcellular migration via funnel-like structures developing from the apical membrane. It is noteworthy that some PMNs contained bacteria during the transmigration process. Flow cytometric and transmigration inhibition studies with integrin-specific antibodies showed that PMN traversal is dependent on CD11b/CD18. Analysis of cell adhesion molecules in PCPECs revealed a significant increase of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 expression after TNFα and S. suis stimulation.
Our data underline the relevance of the blood-CSF barrier as a gate for leukocyte entry into the CNS and suggest a novel transcellular migration step during the pathogenesis of bacterial meningitis.
PMCID: PMC3120695  PMID: 21592385
19.  Transcellular Diapedesis Is Initiated by Invasive Podosomes 
Immunity  2007;26(6):784-797.
Diapedesis is critical for immune system function and inflammatory responses. This occurs by migration of blood leukocytes either directly through individual microvascular endothelial cells (the “transcellular” route) or between them (the “paracellular” route). Mechanisms for transcellular pore formation in endothelium remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that lymphocytes used podosomes and extended “invasive podosomes” to palpate the surface of, and ultimately form transcellular pores through, the endothelium. In lymphocytes, these structures were dependent on Src kinase and the actin regulatory protein WASP; inhibition of podosome formation selectively blocked the transcellular route of diapedesis. In endothelium, membrane fusion events dependent on the SNARE-containing membrane fusion complex and intracellular calcium were required for efficient transcellular pore formation in response to podosomes. These findings provide insights into basic mechanisms for leukocyte trafficking and the functions of podosomes.
PMCID: PMC2094044  PMID: 17570692
20.  Circulation of potassium across the plasma membrane of Blastocladiella emersonii: K+ channel. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1982;150(3):1449-1461.
A previous paper reported that the water mold Blastocladiella emersonii generates a transcellular electrical current, such that positive charges enter the rhizoid and leave from the thallus (Stump et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 77: 6673-6677, 1980). To begin to understand the genesis of this current we investigated ionic relationships in this organism by use of intracellular microelectrodes. In cells suspended in buffered CaCl2, the membrane potential could be accounted for as a K+ diffusion potential; no evidence for an electrogenic pump was obtained. Potassium ions diffuse outward by a pathway that also carries Rb+ and Ba2+, but excludes both smaller and larger ions (Li+, Na+, Cs+, Mg2+, Ca2+, and choline). Chloride and other anions make little contribution to the potential, but the presence of Ca2+ in the external medium is required for successful potential measurements. In growing cells, the internal K+ concentration is generally somewhat higher than would be expected if the K+ distribution were determined entirely by the membrane potential. Under certain conditions, net uptake of K+ against the electrochemical potential gradient was observed. We suggest that K+ is actively accumulated by a primary transport system that may exchange K+ for H+, and that K+ leaks passively outward through the K+ channel. The K+ circulation across the membrane amounts to about 2% of the K+ pool per min, or 4.5 microA/cm2 of surface area. We propose that this K+ circulation is one arm of the transcellular current, carrying positive charge out of the thallus.
PMCID: PMC216372  PMID: 6281245
21.  Transepithelial transport of the fluoroquinolone ciprofloxacin by human airway epithelial Calu-3 cells. 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  1997;41(12):2693-2698.
Although fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin are able to gain access to lung tissue and both pleural and bronchial secretions, the characteristics of transport and cellular uptake of ciprofloxacin in human epithelial lung tissue remain obscure. We have chosen human airway epithelial (Calu-3) cells, reconstituted as functional epithelial layers grown on permeable filter supports, as a model with which to assess both transepithelial transport and cellular uptake of ciprofloxacin. Transepithelial ciprofloxacin fluxes in absorptive (apical-to-basal) and secretory (basal-to-apical) directions were similar throughout the concentration range studied (1.0 microM to 3.0 mM). Transepithelial mannitol fluxes measured concurrently were substantially smaller than ciprofloxacin fluxes in Calu-3 epithelia, suggesting the existence of a mediated transcellular route in addition to a paracellular route for transepithelial permeation. Apical-to-basal ciprofloxacin flux (at 10 microM) was inhibited by a 100-fold excess of unlabelled norfloxacin, enoxacin, and ofloxacin, while secretory flux was unaffected. Cellular uptake of ciprofloxacin, determined as a cell/medium ratio, was greater from the basal compartment (2.7-fold) than apical uptake (1.39-fold) measured at 100 microM ciprofloxacin and showed no saturation up to 3 mM ciprofloxacin. Comparison of the permeation of ciprofloxacin was made with that of lipophilic substrates such as vinblastine and digoxin. There was a linear correlation between transepithelial permeability (Pa-b) and their oil/water partition coefficients with mannitol < ciprofloxacin < digoxin < vinblastine. Comparison of transport of ciprofloxacin across human airway Calu-3 epithelia with that across intestinal Caco-2 epithelia emphasizes the absence of a specific secretory pathway; ciprofloxacin permeation in Calu-3 epithelia appears to be mediated primarily by a transcellular route, with mediated transfer at apical and basal membranes occurring via transporters with low affinity to ciprofloxacin.
PMCID: PMC164190  PMID: 9420040
22.  Prostaglandin E2 activates clusters of apical Cl- channels in principal cells via a cyclic adenosine monophosphate-dependent pathway. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1994;93(2):829-837.
We examined cell-attached patches on principal cells of primary cultured, rabbit cortical collecting tubules. Under basal conditions, apical 9-pS Cl(-)-selective channels were observed in 9% of patches (11/126), and number of channels times open probability (NP0) was 0.56 +/- 0.21. The channel had a linear current-voltage relationship, reversal potential (Erev) near resting membrane potential, a P0 (0.30-0.70) that was independent of voltage, and complicated kinetics (i.e., bursting) at hyperpolarized potentials. NP0 and channel frequency were increased after 30 min of basolateral exposure to 0.5 microM PGE2 (18/56), 10 microM forskolin (23/36), or 0.5 mM dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) (25/41). Increases in NP0 appeared to be mediated primarily through an increase in the number of observed channels per patch (N), not changes in P0. After these cAMP-increasing maneuvers, N was inconsistent with a uniform distribution of channels in the apical membrane (P < 0.001), but rather the channels appeared to be clustered in pairs. Apical 0.5 microM PGE2 (12/91), apical or basolateral 0.5 microM PGF2 alpha (8/110), or 0.25 microM thapsigargin (releaser of intracellular Ca2+ stores) (7/73) did not increase NP0 or channel frequency. Conclusions: (a) 9-pS Cl- channels provide a conductive pathway for apical membrane Cl- transport across principal cells. (b) Channel activation by basolateral PGE2 is mediated via a cAMP-, but not a Ca(2+)-dependent mechanism. (c) Apical channels are clustered in pairs. (d) With its low baseline frequency and Erev near resting membrane potential, this channel would not contribute significantly to transcellular Cl- flux under basal conditions. (e) However, cAMP-producing agonists (i.e., PGE2, arginine vasopressin) would increase apical Cl- transport with the direction determined by the apical membrane potential.
PMCID: PMC293942  PMID: 8113415
23.  Intracellular sorting and basolateral appearance of the G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1985;101(2):470-476.
The polarity of the surface distribution of viral glycoproteins during virus infection has been studied in the Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cell line on nitrocellulose filters. Using a surface radioimmunoassay on Madin-Darby canine kidney strain I cells that had been infected with vesicular stomatitis virus or with avian influenza fowl plague virus, we found that the surface G protein was 97% basolateral, whereas the fowl plague virus hemagglutinin was 88% apical. Newly synthesized, pulse-labeled vesicular stomatitis virus appeared first on the basolateral plasma membrane as measured by an immunoprecipitation assay in which the anti-G protein antibody was applied to the monolayer either from the apical or the basolateral side. Labeled G protein could be accumulated inside the cell at a late stage of transport by decreasing the temperature to 20 degrees C during the chase. Reversal to 37 degrees C led to its rapid and synchronous transport to the basolateral surface at an initial rate 61-fold greater than that of transport to the apical side. These results demonstrate that the newly synthesized G protein is transported directly to the basolateral membrane and does not pass over the apical membrane en route. Since a previous study of the surface appearance of influenza virus hemagglutinins showed that the newly synthesized hemagglutinins were inserted directly from an intracellular site into the apical membrane (Matlin, K., and K. Simons, 1984, J. Cell Biol., 99:2131- 2139), we conclude that the divergence of the transport pathway for the apical and basolateral viral glycoproteins has to occur intracellularly, i.e., before reaching the cell surface.
PMCID: PMC2113651  PMID: 2991300
Ultrasound in medicine & biology  2009;35(10):1756-1760.
Sonoporation uses ultrasound (US) to generate transient non-selective pores on the cell membrane and has been exploited as a non-viral intracellular drug and gene delivery strategy. The pore size determines the size of agents that can be delivered into the cytoplasm using the technique. However, measurements of the dynamic, submicron-scale pores have not been readily available. Electron microscopy or atomic force microscopy has been used to gauge pore size but such techniques are intrinsically limited to post US measurements that may not accurately reveal the relevant information. As previously demonstrated, changes of the transmembrane current (TMC) of a single cell under voltage clamp can be used for monitoring sonoporation in real time. Because the TMC is related to the diffusion of ions through the pores on the membrane, it can potentially provide information of the pore size generated in sonoporation. Using Xenopus laevis oocytes as the model system, the TMC of single cells under voltage clamp was measured in real time to assess formation of pores on the membrane in sonoporation. The cells were exposed to US (0.2 s, 0.3 MPa, 1.075 MHz) in the presence of Definity™ microbubbles. Experiments were designed to obtain the TMC corresponding to a single pore on the membrane. The size of the pores was estimated from an electro-diffusion model that relates the TMC with pore size from the ion transport through the pores on the membrane. The mean radius of single pores was determined to be 110 nm with standard deviation of 40 nm. This study reports the first results of pore size from the TMC measured using the voltage clamp technique.
PMCID: PMC2752487  PMID: 19647924
sonoporation; ultrasound; non-selective pores; voltage clamp; Xenopus laevis oocyte; microbubbles; Definity; electro-diffusion model; drug delivery; gene delivery
25.  Salmonella typhimurium attachment to human intestinal epithelial monolayers: transcellular signalling to subepithelial neutrophils 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1993;123(4):895-907.
In human intestinal disease induced by Salmonella typhimurium, transepithelial migration of neutrophils (PMN) rapidly follows attachment of the bacteria to the epithelial apical membrane. In this report, we model those interactions in vitro, using polarized monolayers of the human intestinal epithelial cell, T84, isolated human PMN, and S. typhimurium. We show that Salmonella attachment to T84 cell apical membranes did not alter monolayer integrity as assessed by transepithelial resistance and measurements of ion transport. However, when human neutrophils were subsequently placed on the basolateral surface of monolayers apically colonized by Salmonella, physiologically directed transepithelial PMN migration ensued. In contrast, attachment of a non-pathogenic Escherichia coli strain to the apical membrane of epithelial cells at comparable densities failed to stimulate a directed PMN transepithelial migration. Use of the n-formyl-peptide receptor antagonist N-t-BOC-1-methionyl-1-leucyl-1- phenylalanine (tBOC-MLP) indicated that the Salmonella-induced PMN transepithelial migration response was not attributable to the classical pathway by which bacteria induce directed migration of PMN. Moreover, the PMN transmigration response required Salmonella adhesion to the epithelial apical membrane and subsequent reciprocal protein synthesis in both bacteria and epithelial cells. Among the events stimulated by this interaction was the epithelial synthesis and polarized release of the potent PMN chemotactic peptide interleukin-8 (IL-8). However, IL-8 neutralization, transfer, and induction experiments indicated that this cytokine was not responsible for the elicited PMN transmigration. These data indicate that a novel transcellular pathway exists in which subepithelial PMN respond to lumenal pathogens across a functionally intact epithelium. Based on the known unique characteristics of the intestinal mucosa, we speculate that IL-8 may act in concert with an as yet unidentified transcellular chemotactic factor(s) (TCF) which directs PMN migration across the intestinal epithelium.
PMCID: PMC2200157  PMID: 8227148

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