Development and Characterization of a Novel Mouse Line Humanized for the Intestinal Peptide Transporter PEPT1

2014-08-22 00:01:05

Molecular Pharmaceutics; 22 AUG 2014; DOI: 10.1021/mp500497p

Yongjun Hu, Yehua Xie, Yuqing Wang, Xiaomei Chen, David E. Smith


The proton-coupled oligopeptide transporter PEPT1 (SLC15A1) is abundantly expressed in the small intestine, but not colon, of mammals and found to mediate the uptake of di-/tri-peptides and peptide-like drugs from the intestinal lumen. However, species differences have been observed in both the expression (and localization) of PEPT1 and its substrate affinity. With this in mind, the objectives of this study were to develop a humanized PEPT1 mouse model (huPEPT1) and to characterize hPEPT1 expression and functional activity in the intestines. Thus, after generating huPEPT1 mice in animals previously nulled for mouse Pept1, phenotypic, PCR and immunoblot analyses were performed, along with in situ single-pass intestinal perfusion and in vivo oral pharmacokinetic studies with a model dipeptide, glycylsarcosine (GlySar). Overall, the huPEPT1 mice had normal survival rates, fertility, litter size, gender distribution and body weight. There was no obvious behavioral or pathological phenotype. The mRNA and protein profiles indicated that huPEPT1 mice had substantial PEPT1 expression in all regions of the small intestine (i.e., duodenum, jejunum and ileum) along with low but measurable expression in both proximal and distal segments of the colon. In agreement with PEPT1 expression, the in situ permeability of GlySar in huPEPT1 mice was similar to but lower than wildtype animals in small intestine, and greater than wildtype mice in colon. However, a species difference existed in the in situ transport kinetics of jejunal PEPT1, in which the maximal flux and Michaelis constant of GlySar were reduced 7-fold and 2- to 4-fold, respectively, in huPEPT1 compared to wildtype mice. Still, the in vivo function of intestinal PEPT1 appeared fully restored (compared to Pept1 knockout mice) as indicated by the nearly identical pharmacokinetics and plasma concentration-time profiles following a 5.0 nmol/g oral dose of GlySar to huPEPT1 and wildtype mice. This study reports, for the first time, the development and characterization of mice humanized for PEPT1. This novel transgenic huPEPT1 mouse model should prove useful in examining the role, relevance and regulation of PEPT1 in diet and disease, and in the drug discovery process.

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