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Cholesterol stimulates the cellular uptake of L-carnitine by the carnitine/organic cation transporter novel 2 (OCTN2)


Zhang, Lu; Gui, Ting; Console, Lara; Scalise, Mariafrancesca; Indiveri, Cesare; Hausler, Stephanie; Kullak-Ublick, Gerd A; Gai, Zhibo; Visentin, Michele (2021). Cholesterol stimulates the cellular uptake of L-carnitine by the carnitine/organic cation transporter novel 2 (OCTN2). Journal of Biological Chemistry, 296:100204.

Abstract

The carnitine/organic cation transporter novel 2 (OCTN2) is responsible for the cellular uptake of carnitine in most tissues. Being a transmembrane protein OCTN2 must interact with the surrounding lipid microenvironment to function. Among the main lipid species that constitute eukaryotic cells, cholesterol has highly dynamic levels under a number of physiopathological conditions. This work describes how plasma membrane cholesterol modulates OCTN2 transport of L-carnitine in human embryonic kidney 293 cells overexpressing OCTN2 (OCTN2-HEK293) and in proteoliposomes harboring human OCTN2. We manipulated the cholesterol content of intact cells, assessed by thin layer chromatography, through short exposures to empty and/or cholesterol-saturated methyl-β-cyclodextrin (mβcd), whereas free cholesterol was used to enrich reconstituted proteoliposomes. We measured OCTN2 transport using [3H]L-carnitine, and expression levels and localization by surface biotinylation and Western blotting. A 20-min preincubation with mβcd reduced the cellular cholesterol content and inhibited L-carnitine influx by 50% in comparison with controls. Analogously, the insertion of cholesterol in OCTN2-proteoliposomes stimulated L-carnitine uptake in a dose-dependent manner. Carnitine uptake in cells incubated with empty mβcd and cholesterol-saturated mβcd to preserve the cholesterol content was comparable with controls, suggesting that the mβcd effect on OCTN2 was cholesterol dependent. Cholesterol stimulated L-carnitine influx in cells by markedly increasing the affinity for L-carnitine and in proteoliposomes by significantly enhancing the affinity for Na+ and, in turn, the L-carnitine maximal transport capacity. Because of the antilipogenic and antioxidant features of L-carnitine, the stimulatory effect of cholesterol on L-carnitine uptake might represent a novel protective effect against lipid-induced toxicity and oxidative stress.

Abstract

The carnitine/organic cation transporter novel 2 (OCTN2) is responsible for the cellular uptake of carnitine in most tissues. Being a transmembrane protein OCTN2 must interact with the surrounding lipid microenvironment to function. Among the main lipid species that constitute eukaryotic cells, cholesterol has highly dynamic levels under a number of physiopathological conditions. This work describes how plasma membrane cholesterol modulates OCTN2 transport of L-carnitine in human embryonic kidney 293 cells overexpressing OCTN2 (OCTN2-HEK293) and in proteoliposomes harboring human OCTN2. We manipulated the cholesterol content of intact cells, assessed by thin layer chromatography, through short exposures to empty and/or cholesterol-saturated methyl-β-cyclodextrin (mβcd), whereas free cholesterol was used to enrich reconstituted proteoliposomes. We measured OCTN2 transport using [3H]L-carnitine, and expression levels and localization by surface biotinylation and Western blotting. A 20-min preincubation with mβcd reduced the cellular cholesterol content and inhibited L-carnitine influx by 50% in comparison with controls. Analogously, the insertion of cholesterol in OCTN2-proteoliposomes stimulated L-carnitine uptake in a dose-dependent manner. Carnitine uptake in cells incubated with empty mβcd and cholesterol-saturated mβcd to preserve the cholesterol content was comparable with controls, suggesting that the mβcd effect on OCTN2 was cholesterol dependent. Cholesterol stimulated L-carnitine influx in cells by markedly increasing the affinity for L-carnitine and in proteoliposomes by significantly enhancing the affinity for Na+ and, in turn, the L-carnitine maximal transport capacity. Because of the antilipogenic and antioxidant features of L-carnitine, the stimulatory effect of cholesterol on L-carnitine uptake might represent a novel protective effect against lipid-induced toxicity and oxidative stress.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology
Language:English
Date:1 January 2021
Deposited On:12 Feb 2021 12:13
Last Modified:12 Feb 2021 12:14
Publisher:American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
ISSN:0021-9258
Additional Information:© the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.ra120.015175
PubMed ID:33334877
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID310030_175639
  • : Project TitleRole of drug transporters and nuclear receptors in drug-induced liver and kidney injury

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