Two human di / tri-peptide transporters, hPepT1 and hPepT2 have been identified and functionally characterized. In the small intestine hPepT1 is exclusively expressed, whereas both PepT1 and PepT2 are expressed in the proximal tubule. The transport via di / tri-peptide transporters is proton-dependent, and the transporters thus belong to the Proton-dependent Oligopeptide Transporter (POT)-family. The transporters are not drug targets per se, however due to their uniquely broad substrate specificity; they have proved to be relevant drug targets at the level of drug transport. Drug molecules such as oral active β-lactam antibiotics, bestatin, prodrugs of aciclovir and ganciclovir have oral bioavailabilities, which largely are a result of their interaction with PepT1. In the last few years an increasing number of studies concerned with regulation of di / tri-peptide transporter capacity have appeared. Studies on receptor-mediated regulation has shown that both PepT1 and PepT2 is down-regulated by long-term exposure to epidermal growth factor (EGF) due to a decreased gene transcription. PepT1-mediated transport is upregulated by certain substrates and in response to fasting and starvation at the level of increased gene transcription. PepT1-mediated transport is up-regulated by short-term exposure to receptor agonists such as EGF, insulin, leptin, and clonidine, and down-regulated by VIP. Overall, the regulation of di / tri-peptide transport may be contributed to 1) changes in apical proton-motive force 2) recruitment of di / tri-peptide transporters from vesicular storages 3) changes in gene transcription / mRNA stability. The aim of the present review is to discuss physiological, patho-physiological and druginduced regulation of di / tri-peptide transporter mediated transport.
Keywords: tri-peptide transporters, hpept1, hpept2, nhe3, epithelia, peptidomimetics, regulation
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