Expression and regulation of proton-coupled oligopeptide transporters in colonic tissue and immune cells of mice

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Graphical abstractA number of studies have implicated proton-coupled oligopeptide transporters (POTs) in the initiation and/or progression of inflammatory bowel disease and immune cell signaling. With this in mind, the aim of this study was to delineate the expression of POTs in mouse colonic tissues and immune cells, and characterize the potential role of these transporters in nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain (NOD) signaling. Using a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced colitis mouse model, we found that DSS down regulated Pht1 gene expression and up regulated Pht2 gene expression in colonic tissue and immune cells. In contrast, PEPT1 protein was absent from the colonic tissue and immune cells of normal and DSS-treated mice. NOD ligands, muramyl dipeptide (MDP) and l-Ala-γ-d-Glu-meso-diaminopimelic acid (tri-DAP), were shown to be substrates of PHT2 in MDCK-hPHT219,20AA cells. Subsequent studies revealed that the immune response of lamina propia mononuclear cells may be regulated by PHT1 and PHT2, and that PHT2 facilitated the NOD-dependent immune response in RAW264.7 macrophages. These results clarified the expression of POTs in mouse colonic segments, cells and subtypes, and the role of increased Pht2 expression during chemically-induced colitis in facilitating NOD-dependent immune response. The findings further suggest that intestinal PHT2 may serve as a therapeutic target for IBD therapy.

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