Functional characterization of genetic variants in the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT; SLC10A2)

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Abstract

Background and Aim:

The major transporter responsible for bile acid uptake from the intestinal lumen is the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT, SLC10A2). Analysis of the SLC10A2 gene has identified a variety of sequence variants including coding region single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that may influence bile acid homeostasis/intestinal function. In this study, we systematically characterized the effect of coding SNPs on SLC10A2 protein expression and bile acid transport activity.

Methods:

Single nucleotide polymorphisms in SLC10A2 from genomic DNA of ethnically-defined healthy individuals were identified using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based temperature gradient capillary electrophoresis (TGCE) system. A heterologous gene expression system was used to assess transport activity of SLC10A2 nonsynonymous variants and missense mutations. Total and cell surface protein expression of wild-type and variant ASBT was assessed by Western blot analysis and immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. Expression of ASBT mRNA and protein was also measured in human intestinal samples.

Results:

The studies revealed two nonsynonymous SNPs, 292G>A and 431G>A, with partially impaired in vitro taurocholate transport. A novel variant, 790A>G, was also shown to exhibit near complete loss of taurocholate transport, similar to the previously identified ASBT missense mutations. Examination of ASBT protein expression revealed no significant differences in expression or trafficking to the cell surface among variants versus wild-type ASBT. Analysis of ASBT mRNA and protein expression in human intestinal samples revealed modest intersubject variability.

Conclusions:

Genome sequencing and in vitro studies reveal the presence of multiple functionally relevant variants in SLC10A2 that may influence bile acid homeostasis and physiology.

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