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Loss of function mutation of the Slc38a3 glutamine transporter reveals its critical role for amino acid metabolism in the liver, brain, and kidney


Chan, Kessara; Busque, Stephanie M; Sailer, Manuela; Stoeger, Claudia; Bröer, Stefan; Daniel, Hannelore; Rubio-Aliaga, Isabel; Wagner, Carsten A (2016). Loss of function mutation of the Slc38a3 glutamine transporter reveals its critical role for amino acid metabolism in the liver, brain, and kidney. Pflügers Archiv : European Journal of Physiology, 468(2):213-227.

Abstract

Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in mammals, is critical for cell and organ functions. Its metabolism depends on the ability of cells to take up or release glutamine by transporters located in the plasma membrane. Several solute carrier (SLC) families transport glutamine, but the SLC38 family has been thought to be mostly responsible for glutamine transport. We demonstrate that despite the large number of glutamine transporters, the loss of Snat3/Slc38a3 glutamine transporter has a major impact on the function of organs expressing it. Snat3 mutant mice were generated by N-ethyl-N-nitrosurea (ENU) mutagenesis and showed stunted growth, altered amino acid levels, hypoglycemia, and died around 20 days after birth. Hepatic concentrations of glutamine, glutamate, leucine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan were highly reduced paralleled by downregulation of the mTOR pathway possibly linking reduced amino acid availability to impaired growth and glucose homeostasis. Snat3-deficient mice had altered urea levels paralleled by dysregulation of the urea cycle, gluconeogenesis, and glutamine synthesis. Mice were ataxic with higher glutamine but reduced glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in brain consistent with a major role of Snat3 in the glutamine-glutamate cycle. Renal ammonium excretion was lower, and the expression of enzymes and amino acid transporters involved in ammoniagenesis were altered. Thus, SNAT3 is a glutamine transporter required for amino acid homeostasis and determines critical functions in various organs. Despite the large number of glutamine transporters, loss of Snat3 cannot be compensated, suggesting that this transporter is a major route of glutamine transport in the liver, brain, and kidney.

Abstract

Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in mammals, is critical for cell and organ functions. Its metabolism depends on the ability of cells to take up or release glutamine by transporters located in the plasma membrane. Several solute carrier (SLC) families transport glutamine, but the SLC38 family has been thought to be mostly responsible for glutamine transport. We demonstrate that despite the large number of glutamine transporters, the loss of Snat3/Slc38a3 glutamine transporter has a major impact on the function of organs expressing it. Snat3 mutant mice were generated by N-ethyl-N-nitrosurea (ENU) mutagenesis and showed stunted growth, altered amino acid levels, hypoglycemia, and died around 20 days after birth. Hepatic concentrations of glutamine, glutamate, leucine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan were highly reduced paralleled by downregulation of the mTOR pathway possibly linking reduced amino acid availability to impaired growth and glucose homeostasis. Snat3-deficient mice had altered urea levels paralleled by dysregulation of the urea cycle, gluconeogenesis, and glutamine synthesis. Mice were ataxic with higher glutamine but reduced glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in brain consistent with a major role of Snat3 in the glutamine-glutamate cycle. Renal ammonium excretion was lower, and the expression of enzymes and amino acid transporters involved in ammoniagenesis were altered. Thus, SNAT3 is a glutamine transporter required for amino acid homeostasis and determines critical functions in various organs. Despite the large number of glutamine transporters, loss of Snat3 cannot be compensated, suggesting that this transporter is a major route of glutamine transport in the liver, brain, and kidney.

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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
Date:2016
Deposited On:03 Dec 2015 10:51
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 09:39
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0031-6768
Additional Information:The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00424-015-1742-0
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00424-015-1742-0
PubMed ID:26490457

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