Role of glutathione transport processes in kidney function


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Abstract

The kidneys are highly dependent on an adequate supply of glutathione (GSH) to maintain normal function. This is due, in part, to high rates of aerobic metabolism, particularly in the proximal tubules. Additionally, the kidneys are potentially exposed to high concentrations of oxidants and reactive electrophiles. Renal cellular concentrations of GSH are maintained by both intracellular synthesis and transport from outside the cell. Although function of specific carriers has not been definitively demonstrated, it is likely that multiple carriers are responsible for plasma membrane transport of GSH. Data suggest that the organic anion transporters OAT1 and OAT3 and the sodium–dicarboxylate 2 exchanger (SDCT2 or NaDC3) mediate uptake across the basolateral plasma membrane (BLM) and that the organic anion transporting polypeptide OATP1 and at least one of the multidrug resistance proteins mediate efflux across the brush-border plasma membrane (BBM). BLM transport may be used pharmacologically to provide renal proximal tubular cells with exogenous GSH to protect against oxidative stress whereas BBM transport functions physiologically in turnover of cellular GSH. The mitochondrial GSH pool is derived from cytoplasmic GSH by transport into the mitochondrial matrix and is mediated by the dicarboxylate and 2-oxoglutarate exchangers. Maintenance of the mitochondrial GSH pool is critical for cellular and mitochondrial redox homeostasis and is important in determining susceptibility to chemically induced apoptosis. Hence, membrane transport processes are critical to regulation of renal cellular and subcellular GSH pools and are determinants of susceptibility to cytotoxicity induced by oxidants and electrophiles.

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