Interaction of atorvastatin with the human glial transporter SLC16A1

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Solute carrier (SLC) 16A1 is a pH-dependent carrier of 5-oxoproline, a derivative of the amino acid. SLC16A1 interacts with carboxylate group-containing substrates, which are also present in atorvastatin, and might be the reason for its ability to interact with atorvastatin. Does atorvastatin interact with the carrier? Does it also interact with the carrier via the substrate recognition site? This study was carried out to answer these questions. Polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the expression of SLC16A1 in normal human astrocytes. We induced SLC16A1 expression in a mammalian cell line and in Xenopus laevis oocytes. We used [3H] 5-oxoproline for direct measurement of SLC16A1-specific transport activity. SLC16A1 was clearly observed in normal human astrocytes. 3-Hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors inhibited the SLC16A1-specific transport of 5-oxoproline. Atorvastatin was the most potent inhibitor, with an inhibition constant of 40 μM. The drug was a non-competitive inhibitor of SLC16A1. In the present study, we showed non-competitive inhibition of SLC16A1-specific transport activity by atorvastatin. However, the affinity between the drug and the carrier was extremely low. Therefore, the interaction of atorvastatin with SLC16A1 is unlikely to be a problem in clinical practice.

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