Species specificity profiling of rat and human organic cation/carnitine transporter Slc22a5/SLC22A5 (Octn2/OCTN2)

Szabó K, Nagy Z, Juhász V, Zolnerciks JK, Csorba A, Tímár Z, Molnár É, Pádár P, Johnson W, Beéry E, Krajcsi P.

Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2017 Jun;32(3):165-171. doi: 10.1016/j.dmpk.2016.08.005. Epub 2016 Aug 26.

PMID: 28365301


The purpose of this study was to characterize the uptake of carnitine, the physiological substrate, and the uptake of 3-(2,2,2-trimethylhydrazinium)propionate, a consensus substrate by rat Octn2 and human OCTN2 transporters as well as to characterize drug-mediated inhibition of l-carnitine uptake by the rat and human orthologs overexpressed in CHO-K1 cells. l-carnitine and 3-(2,2,2-trimethylhydrazinium)propionate were found to be a lower affinity substrate for rat Octn2 (KM = 32.66 ± 5.11 μM and 23.62 ± 4.99 μM respectively) than for human OCTN2 (KM = 3.08 ± 0.74 μM and 7.98 ± 0.63 μM). The intrinsic clearance (CLint) value for carnitine was higher for the human than for the rat transporter (22.82 ± 5.57 ml/min*mg vs 4.008 ± 0.675 ml/min*mg). For 3-(2,2,2-trimethylhydrazinium)propionate, in contrast, the CLint value for rat Octn2 was higher than for human OCTN2 (323.9 ± 72.8 ml/min*mg vs 65.11 ± 5.33 ml/min*mg). Furthermore, many pharmacologically important drugs were shown to affect l-carnitine transport by Octn2/OCTN2. The correlation between the IC50 datasets for the rat and human transporter resulted in an r value of 0.47 (p > 0.05). However, the greatest difference was less than seven-fold and 13 of 15 compounds yielded a difference less than 3-fold. Thus, the transporters from these two species showed an overlapping but somewhat different substrate and inhibitor specificity.

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