Downregulation of the human taurine transporter by glucose in cultured retinal pigment epithelial cells
- Martin J. Stevens,
- Yoshiyuki Hosaka,
- Jennifer A. Masterson,
- Sandra M. Jones,
- Thommey P. Thomas, and
- Dennis D. Larkin
+ Author Affiliations
- 1 Department of Internal Medicine and the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109–0678
- Address for correspondence and reprint requests: M. J. Stevens, Dept. of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Univ. of Michigan Medical Center, 5570, MSRB II, Box 0678, 1150 West Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109–0678 (E-mail:email@example.com).
- Submitted 24 August 1998.
- accepted in final form 1 June 1999.
In diabetes, activation of the aldose reductase (AR) pathway and alterations of glucose-sensitive signal transduction pathways have been implicated in depletion of intracellular taurine, an endogenous antioxidant and compatible osmolyte. Cellular taurine accumulation occurs by an osmotically induced, protein kinase C (PKC)-regulated Na+-taurine cotransporter (hTT). The effects of ambient glucose on taurine content, hTT activity, and hTT gene expression were therefore evaluated in low and high AR-expressing human retinal pigment epithelial cell lines. In low AR-expressing cells, 20 mM glucose decreased taurine content, hTT transporter activity, and mRNA levels, and these effects were unaffected by AR inhibition (ARI). In these cells, the inhibitory effects of high glucose on hTT appeared to be posttranscriptionally mediated, because 20 mM glucose decreased hTT mRNA stability without affecting hTT transcriptional rate. Inhibition of PKC overcame the decrease in hTT activity in high glucose-exposed cells. In high AR-expressing cells, prolonged exposure to 20 mM glucose resulted in intracellular taurine depletion, which paralleled sorbitol accumulation and was prevented by ARI. In these cells exposed to 5 mM glucose, hTT mRNA abundance was decreased and declined further in 20 mM glucose but was corrected by ARI. In 5 mM glucose, hTT transcriptional rate was markedly decreased in high AR-expressing cells, did not decline further in 20 mM glucose, but was increased by ARI to levels above those observed in low AR-expressing cells. Therefore, glucose rapidly and specifically decreases taurine content, hTT activity, and mRNA abundance by AR-unrelated and AR-related posttranscriptional and transcriptional mechanisms.