A novel vanadium transporter of the Nramp family expressed at the vacuole of vanadium-accumulating cells of the ascidian Ascidia sydneiensis samea
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Background: Vanadium is an essential transition metal in biological systems. Several key proteins related to vanadium accumulation and its physiological function have been isolated, but no vanadium ion transporter has yet been identified.
Methods: We identified and cloned a member of the Nramp/DCT family of membrane metal transporters (AsNramp) from the ascidian Ascidia sydneiensis samea, which can accumulate extremely high levels of vanadium in the vacuoles of a type of blood cell called signet ring cells (also called vanadocytes). We performed immunological and biochemical experiments to examine its expression and transport function.
Results: Western blotting analysis showed that AsNramp was localized at the vacuolar membrane of vanadocytes. Using the Xenopus oocyte expression system, we showed that AsNramp transported VO2+ into the oocyte as pH-dependent manner above pH 6, while no significant activity was observed below pH 6. Kinetic parameters (Km and Vmax) of AsNramp-mediated VO2+ transport at pH 8.5 were 90 nM and 9.1 pmol/oocyte/h, respectively. A rat homolog, DCT1, did not transport VO2+ under the same conditions. Excess Fe2+, Cu2+, Mn2+ or Zn2+ inhibited the transport of VO2+.
Conclusions: AsNramp was revealed to be a novel VO2+/H+ antiporter, and we propose that AsNramp mediates vanadium accumulation coupled with the electrochemical gradient generated by vacuolar H+-ATPase in vanadocytes.
General Significance: This is the first report of identification and functional analysis on a membrane transporter for vanadium ions.
This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (#17370026, #18570070, #20570070, and #21570077).
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects
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