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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intestinal peptide transport: ex vivo uptake studies and localization of peptide carrier PEPT1.

The nature of protein breakdown products and peptidomimetic drugs such as beta-lactams is crucial for their transmembrane transport across apical enterocyte membranes, which is accomplished by the pH-dependent high-capacity oligopeptide transporter PEPT1. To visualize oligopeptide transporter-mediated uptake of oligopeptides, an ex vivo assay using the fluorophore-conjugated dipeptide derivative D-Ala-Lys-N(epsilon)-7-amino-4-methylcoumarin-3-acetic acid (D-Ala-Lys-AMCA) was established in the murine small intestine and compared with immunohistochemistry for PEPT1 in murine and human small intestine. D-Ala-Lys-AMCA was accumulated by enterocytes throughout all segments of the murine small intestine, with decreasing intensity from the top to the base of the villi. Goblet cells did not show specific uptake. Inhibition studies revealed competitive inhibition by the beta-lactam cefadroxil, the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril, and the dipeptide glycyl-glutamine. Controls were performed using either the inhibitor diethylpyrocarbonate or an incubation temperature of 4 degrees C to exclude unspecific uptake. Immunohistochemistry for PEPT1 localized immunoreactivity to the enterocytes, with the highest intensity at the apical membrane. This is the first study that visualizes dipeptide transport across the mammalian intestine and indicates that uptake assays using D-Ala-Lys-AMCA might be useful for characterizing PEPT1-specific substrates or inhibitors.[1]


  1. Intestinal peptide transport: ex vivo uptake studies and localization of peptide carrier PEPT1. Groneberg, D.A., Döring, F., Eynott, P.R., Fischer, A., Daniel, H. Am. J. Physiol. Gastrointest. Liver Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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