Properties of the Arg376 residue of the proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT-SLC46A1) and a glutamine mutant causing hereditary folate malabsorption

Kris Mahadeo, Ndeye Diop-Bove, Daniel Shin, Ersin Selcuk Unal, Juliana Teo, Rongbao Zhao, Min Hwang Chang, Andreas Fulterer, Michael F. Romero, I. David Goldman

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33 Scopus citations


The proton-coupled folate transporter (PCFT-SLC46A1) is required for intestinal folate absorption and is mutated in the autosomal recessive disorder, hereditary folate malabsorption (HFM). This report characterizes properties and requirements of the R376 residue in PCFT function, including a R376Q mutant associated with HFM. Gln, Cys, and Ala substitutions resulted in markedly impaired transport of 5-formyltetrahydrofolate (5-FTHF) and 5- methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) due to an increase in K m and decrease in V max in HeLa R1-11 transfectants lacking endogenous folate transport function. In contrast, although the influx K m for pemetrexed was increased, transport was fully preserved at saturating concentrations and enhanced for the like-charged R376K- and R376H-PCFT. Pemetrexed and 5-FTHF influx mediated by R376Q-PCFT was markedly decreased at pH 5.5 compared with wild-type PCFT. However, while pemetrexed transport was substantially preserved at low pH (4.5-5.0), 5-FTHF transport remained very low. Electrophysiological studies in Xenopus oocytes demonstrated that 1) the R376Q mutant, like wild-type PCFT, transports protons in the absence of folate substrate, and in this respect has channel-like properties; and 2) the influx K m mediated by R376Q-PCFT is increased for 5-MTHF, 5-FTHF, and pemetrexed. The data suggest that mutation of the R376 residue to Gln impairs proton binding which, in turn, modulates the folate-binding pocket and depresses the rate of conformational alteration of the carrier, a change that appears to be, in part, substrate dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C1153-C1161
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Choroid plexus
  • Folate deficiency
  • Folate receptors
  • Folate transport
  • Heme carrier protein-1
  • Intestinal folate absorption
  • Reduced folate carrier

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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