A carrier-mediated mechanism for pyridoxine uptake by human intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells: Regulation by a PKA-mediated pathway

Hamid M. Said, Alvaro Ortiz, Thomas Ma

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68 Scopus citations


Vitamin B6 is essential for cellular functions and growth due to its involvement in important metabolic reactions. Humans and other mammals cannot synthesize vitamin B6 and thus must obtain this micronutrient from exogenous sources via intestinal absorption. The intestine, therefore, plays a central role in maintaining and regulating normal vitamin B6 homeostasis. Due to the water-soluble nature of vitamin B6 and the demonstration that transport of other water-soluble vitamins in intestinal epithelial cells involves specialized carrier-mediated mechanisms, we hypothesized that transport of vitamin B6 in these cells is also carrier mediated in nature. To test this hypothesis, we examined pyridoxine transport in a model system for human enterocytes, the human-derived intestinal epithelial Caco-2 cells. The results showed pyridoxine uptake to be 1) linear with time for up to 10 min of incubation and to occur with minimal metabolic alteration in the transported substrate, 2) temperature and energy dependent but Na+ independent, 3) pH dependent with higher uptake at acidic compared with alkaline pHs, 4) saturable as a function of concentration (at buffer pH 5.5 but not 7.4) with an apparent Michaelis-Menten constant (K m) of 11.99 ± 1.41 μM and a maximal velocity (V max) of 67.63 ± 3.87 pmol · mg protein-1 · 3 min-1, 5) inhibited by pyridoxine structural analogs (at buffer pH 5.5 but not 7.4) but not by unrelated compounds, and 6) inhibited in a competitive manner by amiloride with an apparent inhibitor constant (K i) of 0.39 mM. We also examined the possible regulation of pyridoxine uptake by specific intracellular regulatory pathways. The results showed that whereas modulators of PKC, Ca+2/calmodulin (CaM), and nitric oxide (NO)-mediated pathways had no effect on pyridoxine uptake, modulators of PKA-mediated pathway were found to cause significant reduction in pyridoxine uptake. This reduction was mediated via a significant inhibition in the Vmax, but not the apparent Km, of the pyridoxine uptake process. These results demonstrate, for the first time, the involvement of a specialized carrier-mediated mechanism for pyridoxine uptake by intestinal epithelial cells. This system is pH dependent and amiloride sensitive and appears to be under the regulation of an intracellular PKA-mediated pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1219-C1225
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5 54-5
StatePublished - Nov 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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