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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Cholesterol on the Organic Cation Transporter OCTN1 (SLC22A4)

Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences (DiBEST), Unit of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology, University of Calabria, via P. Bucci 4c, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(3), 1091;
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 2 February 2020 / Accepted: 3 February 2020 / Published: 6 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Molecular Biology)
The effect of cholesterol was investigated on the OCTN1 transport activity measured as [14C]-tetraethylamonium or [3H]-acetylcholine uptake in proteoliposomes reconstituted with native transporter extracted from HeLa cells or the human recombinant OCTN1 over-expressed in E. coli. Removal of cholesterol from the native transporter by MβCD before reconstitution led to impairment of transport activity. A similar activity impairment was observed after treatment of proteoliposomes harboring the recombinant (cholesterol-free) protein by MβCD, suggesting that the lipid mixture used for reconstitution contained some cholesterol. An enzymatic assay revealed the presence of 10 µg cholesterol/mg total lipids corresponding to 1% cholesterol in the phospholipid mixture used for the proteoliposome preparation. On the other way around, the activity of the recombinant OCTN1 was stimulated by adding the cholesterol analogue, CHS to the proteoliposome preparation. Optimal transport activity was detected in the presence of 83 µg CHS/ mg total lipids for both [14C]-tetraethylamonium or [3H]-acetylcholine uptake. Kinetic analysis of transport demonstrated that the stimulation of transport activity by CHS consisted in an increase of the Vmax of transport with no changes of the Km. Altogether, the data suggests a direct interaction of cholesterol with the protein. A further support to this interpretation was given by a docking analysis indicating the interaction of cholesterol with some protein sites corresponding to CARC-CRAC motifs. The observed direct interaction of cholesterol with OCTN1 points to a possible direct influence of cholesterol on tumor cells or on acetylcholine transport in neuronal and non-neuronal cells via OCTN1. View Full-Text
Keywords: acetylcholine; cholesterol; membrane transport; OCTN1; proteoliposomes acetylcholine; cholesterol; membrane transport; OCTN1; proteoliposomes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pochini, L.; Pappacoda, G.; Galluccio, M.; Pastore, F.; Scalise, M.; Indiveri, C. Effect of Cholesterol on the Organic Cation Transporter OCTN1 (SLC22A4). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 1091.

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