Yeung, A K; Basu, S K; Wu, S K; Chu, C; Okamoto, C T; Hamm-Alvarez, S F; von Grafenstein, H; Shen, W C; Kim, K J; Bolger, M B; Haworth, I S; Ann, D K; Lee, V H
hPepT1 is a proton-coupled peptide transporter that mediates the absorption of di- and tripeptides. Here we show that tyrosine 167 (Y167) in transmembrane domain 5 (TMD5) of this 12-transmembrane spanning protein contributes to its transport function. We identified this particular amino acid by a computer model of the arrangement of the TMDs of hPepT1 and investigated its role by site-directed mutagenesis and dipeptide uptake studies. [3H]Gly-sar uptake in cells transiently transfected with Y167A-hPepT1 was abolished completely, even though the level of Y167A-hPepT1 expression by Western blot analysis and cell surface expression by immunofluorescence microscopy was similar to those of the wild type. Therefore, mutation affected transport function, but apparently not the steady-state protein level or trafficking of the transporter to the plasma membrane. Moreover, mutation of Y167 into phenylalanine, serine, or histidine all abolished gly-sar uptake in transfected HEK 293 cells. Taken together, these findings suggest that Y167 plays an essential role in hPepT1 function, perhaps due to the unique chemistry of its phenolic side chain.