Regulation of taurine transporter expression by NO in cultured human retinal pigment epithelial cells

Christy C. Bridges, M. Shamsul Ola, Puttur D Prasad, Amira El-Sherbeny, Vadivel Ganapathy, Sylvia B Smith

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49 Scopus citations


Taurine is actively transported at the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) apical membrane in an Na+- and Cl--dependent manner. Diabetes may alter the function of the taurine transporter. Because nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes, we asked whether NO would alter the activity of the taurine transporter in cultured ARPE-19 cells. The activity of the transporter was stimulated in the presence of the NO donor 3-morpholinosydnonimine. The stimulatory effects of 3-morpholinosydnonimine were not observed during the initial 16-h treatment; however, stimulation of taurine uptake was elevated dramatically above control values with 20-and 24-h treatments. Kinetic analysis revealed that the stimulation was associated with an increase in the maximal velocity of the transporter with no significant change in the substrate affinity. The NO-induced increase in taurine uptake was inhibited by actinomycin D and cycloheximide. RT-PCR analysis and nuclear run-on assays provided evidence for upregulation of the transporter gene. This study provides the first evidence of an increase in taurine transporter gene expression in human RPE cells cultured under conditions of elevated levels of NO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1825-C1836
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number6 50-6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Cell culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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