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Cellular and Molecular Biology Letters

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Volume 12, Issue 3


Estrogen regulation and ion dependence of taurine uptake by MCF-7 human breast cancer cells

David Shennan
  • Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Royal College, University of Strathclyde, 204 George Street, Glasgow, UK, G1 1XW
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/ Jean Thomson
  • Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Royal College, University of Strathclyde, 204 George Street, Glasgow, UK, G1 1XW
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Published Online: 2007-03-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11658-007-0011-4


It has been reported that estrogen receptor-positive MCF-7 cells express TauT, a Na+-dependent taurine transporter. However, there is a paucity of information relating to the characteristics of taurine transport in this human breast cancer cell line. Therefore, we have examined the characteristics and regulation of taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells. Taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells showed an absolute dependence upon extracellular Na+. Although taurine uptake was reduced in Cl- free medium a significant portion of taurine uptake persisted in the presence of NO3 -. Taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells was inhibited by extracellular β-alanine but not by L-alanine or L-leucine. 17β-estadiol increased taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells: the Vmax of influx was increased without affecting the Km. The effect of 17β-estradiol on taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells was dependent upon the presence of extracellular Na+. In contrast, 17β-estradiol had no significant effect on the kinetic parameters of taurine uptake by estrogen receptor-negative MDA-MB-231 cells. It appears that estrogen regulates taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells via TauT. In addition, Na+-dependent taurine uptake may not be strictly dependent upon extracellular Cl-.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Taurine uptake; Estrogen

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About the article

Published Online: 2007-03-05

Published in Print: 2007-09-01

Citation Information: Cellular and Molecular Biology Letters, Volume 12, Issue 3, Pages 396–406, ISSN (Online) 1689-1392, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11658-007-0011-4.

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© 2007 University of Wrocław, Poland. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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