Solute Carriers in Metabolism: Regulation of known and putative solute carriers in the central nervous system

  • Datum:
  • Plats: B21, Biomedicinskt Centrum (BMC), Husargatan 3, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Lekholm, Emilia
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Funktionell farmakologi
  • Kontaktperson: Lekholm, Emilia
  • Disputation


Solute carriers (SLCs) are membrane-bound transporter proteins, important for nutrient, ion, drug and metabolite transport across membranes. A quarter of the human genome codes for membrane-bound proteins, and SLCs make up the largest group of transporter proteins. Due to their ability to transport a large repertoire of substances across, not just the plasma membrane, but also the membrane of internal organelles, they hold a key position in maintaining homeostasis affecting metabolic pathways. Unfortunately, some of the more than 400 identified SLCs are still not fully characterized, even though a quarter of these are associated with human disease. In addition, there are about 30 membrane-bound proteins with strong resemblance to SLCs, of which very little is known. The aim of this thesis is to characterize some of these putative SLCs, focusing on their localization and function in the central nervous system. Since many of the known SLCs play a vital part in metabolism and related pathways, the response to different nutritional conditions has been used as a key method. MFSD14A and MFSD14B, characterized in Paper I, are putative SLCs belonging to the Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) and found to be neuronal, differentially expressed in the mouse central nervous system and transiently upregulated in mouse embryonic cortex cultures due to amino acid deprivation. They were also altered in areas of the mouse brain after starvation as well as after high fat diet. In Paper II, the effect on gene regulation due to complete amino acid starvation was monitored in a mouse hypothalamic cell line and 47 different genes belonging to SLCs, or putative SLCs, were found to be affected. Of these, 15 genes belonged to already known amino acid transporters, whereas 32 were putative SLCs with no known function or SLCs not known to react to amino acids. The three SV2 proteins, SV2A, SV2B and SV2C, were studied in Paper III using human neuroblastoma cell lines. The high metabolic state of cancers often result in an upregulation and alteration of transporter proteins, and alterations of the SV2 proteins were found following different treatments performed in this study. Paper IV focused on putative SLCs of MFS type and their role in glucose metabolism. Mouse embryonic cortex cultures were subjected to glucose starvation and the gene expression of 19 putative transporters were analyzed. All but four of the putative transporters were affected either at 3h or 12h of glucose deprivation. In conclusion, several SLCs and putative SLCs studied in this thesis are strongly affected by alteration in metabolism, either due to amino acids or glucose or both. This makes the putative SLCs dynamic membrane-bound proteins, possibly transporters, highly affected by nutritional status and most likely regulated to maintain homeostasis.