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Real-time functional characterization of cationic amino acid transporters using a new FRET sensor


Vanoaica, Liviu; Behera, Alok; Camargo, Simone M R; Forster, Ian C; Verrey, François (2016). Real-time functional characterization of cationic amino acid transporters using a new FRET sensor. Pflügers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology, 468(4):563-572.

Abstract

L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that serves as precursor for the production of urea, nitric oxide (NO), polyamines, and other biologically important metabolites. Hence, a fast and reliable assessment of its intracellular concentration changes is highly desirable. Here, we report on a genetically encoded Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based arginine nanosensor that employs the arginine repressor/activator ahrC gene from Bacillus subtilis. This new nanosensor was expressed in HEK293T cells, and experiments with cell lysate showed that it binds L-arginine with high specificity and with a K d of ∼177 μM. Live imaging experiments showed that the nanosensor was expressed throughout the cytoplasm and displayed a half maximal FRET increase at an extracellular L-arginine concentration of ∼22 μM. By expressing the nanosensor together with SLC7A1, SLC7A2B, or SLC7A3 cationic amino acid transporters (CAT1-3), it was shown that L-arginine was imported at a similar rate via SLC7A1 and SLC7A2B and slower via SLC7A3. In contrast, upon withdrawal of extracellular L-arginine, intracellular levels decreased as fast in SLC7A3-expressing cells compared with SLC7A1, but the efflux was slower via SLC7A2B. SLC7A4 (CAT4) could not be convincingly shown to transport L-arginine. We also demonstrated the impact of membrane potential on L-arginine transport and showed that physiological concentrations of symmetrical and asymmetrical dimethylarginine do not significantly interfere with L-arginine transport through SLC7A1. Our results demonstrate that the FRET nanosensor can be used to assess L-arginine transport through plasma membrane in real time.

Abstract

L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that serves as precursor for the production of urea, nitric oxide (NO), polyamines, and other biologically important metabolites. Hence, a fast and reliable assessment of its intracellular concentration changes is highly desirable. Here, we report on a genetically encoded Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based arginine nanosensor that employs the arginine repressor/activator ahrC gene from Bacillus subtilis. This new nanosensor was expressed in HEK293T cells, and experiments with cell lysate showed that it binds L-arginine with high specificity and with a K d of ∼177 μM. Live imaging experiments showed that the nanosensor was expressed throughout the cytoplasm and displayed a half maximal FRET increase at an extracellular L-arginine concentration of ∼22 μM. By expressing the nanosensor together with SLC7A1, SLC7A2B, or SLC7A3 cationic amino acid transporters (CAT1-3), it was shown that L-arginine was imported at a similar rate via SLC7A1 and SLC7A2B and slower via SLC7A3. In contrast, upon withdrawal of extracellular L-arginine, intracellular levels decreased as fast in SLC7A3-expressing cells compared with SLC7A1, but the efflux was slower via SLC7A2B. SLC7A4 (CAT4) could not be convincingly shown to transport L-arginine. We also demonstrated the impact of membrane potential on L-arginine transport and showed that physiological concentrations of symmetrical and asymmetrical dimethylarginine do not significantly interfere with L-arginine transport through SLC7A1. Our results demonstrate that the FRET nanosensor can be used to assess L-arginine transport through plasma membrane in real time.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Physiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Physiology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:April 2016
Deposited On:21 Mar 2016 16:32
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:11
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0031-6768
Additional Information:The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00424-015-1754-9
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00424-015-1754-9
Official URL:http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00424-015-1754-9
PubMed ID:26555760

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