Characterization of Chicken CAT-2 Isoforms

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2007-08-20

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Lysine and arginine transport is primarily mediated by cationic amino acid transporters (CATs) in cells. The chicken CAT-2 (cCAT-2) transcript is alternatively spliced to three isoforms. Transcriptional and cellular localization experiments were utilized to study their regulation. The mRNA abundance of cCAT-2 isoforms was estimated in body tissues, and although differentially expressed, all tissues expressed each cCAT-2 isoform gene, indicating that alternative splicing was not tissue-specific. Both cCAT-2A and cCAT-2B proteins localized to the plasma membrane and cCAT-2C protein was retained in the cytosol. Chicken CAT-2A functions as a low affinity transporter with specificity for lysine and arginine. Chicken CAT-2B and cCAT-2C transporter functions were not detectable. Our data indicates that CAT-2 transporters are conserved in non-mammalian vertebrates, but cCAT-2 isoforms differ in their tissue distribution and transporter function from previously characterized CAT-2 transporters. These results also indicate a mechanism by which additional dietary lysine and arginine contribute to increased protein accretion in muscle tissue.

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