Posttranslational alanine trans-stimulation of zwitterionic amino acid transport systems in human intestinal Caco-2 cells

Ming Pan, Wiley W. Souba, Christopher L. Wolfgang, Anne M. Karinch, Bruce R. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Neutral dietary amino acids, such as alanine, are transported across the gut lumen by both Na+-dependent (System B) and Na+-independent (System L) carriers, but the nature of the acute phase of substrate-induced uptake is unknown. This study examined the effects of acute amino acid substrate exposure on the rapid modulation of apical membrane alanine transport in cultured human intestinal cells. Methods. System B and System L transport activity kinetics, as well as ATB0 mRNA levels, were measured in confluent Caco-2 monolayers treated with various metabolic agents during short-term and extended time periods. Results. Depleting the incubation medium of alanine attenuated both System B and System L uptake activities within 30 mins, with a complete return to baseline values within 3 h. Extracellular alanine added to depleted Caco-2 cells rapidly (within 5 min) increased alanine transport activities. Kinetic analysis showed that acute alanine exposure increased both Km and Vmax of each transport system, indicative of a transstimulation effect. Augmenting intracellular alanine levels using the cytosolic alanine aminotransferase inhibitor, aminooxyacetic acid, increased alanine uptake activity. Acute exposure to other substrates of Systems B and L also increased the uptake of alanine, while nonsubstrates did not affect alanine uptake. Cycloheximide or actinomycin did not affect substrate acute activation of System B, and the steady-state level of ATB0 mRNA was not altered by amino acid exposure. Conclusion. Increasing alanine availability to intestinal cells, by either exogenous substrate exposure or inhibition of intracellular catabolism, acutely and reversibly increases apical membrane alanine transport activity via a posttranslation trans-stimulation mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive regulation
  • Alanine
  • Intestine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Posttranslational alanine trans-stimulation of zwitterionic amino acid transport systems in human intestinal Caco-2 cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this