Specificity of basolateral organic cation transport in snake renal proximal tubules

Yung Kyu Kim, William H. Dantzler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We examined the specificity of basolateral organic cation transport in isolated snake (Thamnophis spp.) renal proximal tubules by determining the inhibitory effect of a series of n-tetraalkylammonium (n-TAA) compounds (n = 1-5) on the basolateral uptake of [3H]tetraethylammonium (TEA). The inhibitory potency increased with increasing alkyl chain length, with the apparent Michaelis constants for inhibition of TEA uptake ranging from 3.3 mM for tetramethylammonium (TMA) to 1.0 μM for tetrapentylammonium (TPeA). Thus the apparent affinity of the carrier for n-TAA compounds increases with their increasing hydrophobicity. Because previous data suggested that TEA transport across the basolateral membrane may be asymmetrical and that the exit step may be regulated differently from the entry step, we examined the kinetics of [3H]TEA efflux across the basolateral membrane. Efflux, like entry, occurred by a saturable process that could be described adequately by Michaelis- Menten kinetics. However, the concentration of TEA at one-half J(max) (K(t)) for efflux (~110 μM) was about six times the K(t) for uptake (~18 μM), indicating that the affinity of the carrier for TEA is greater in the uptake direction than in the efflux direction or that there are separate carriers with different affinities for uptake and efflux. In either case, this difference would favor movement of TEA taken up at the basolateral side across the cells and into the lumen over movement back into the peritubular fluid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R1025-R1030
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5 39-5
StatePublished - 1996


  • Thamnophis spp.
  • efflux kinetics
  • garter snakes
  • n-tetraalkylammonium compounds
  • tetraethylammonium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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