2019 Volume 42 Issue 1 Pages 43-49
Urate is the final oxidation product of purine metabolism in humans. We have recently reported that the paracellular route is the major urate transport pathway across the blood–placental barrier. In this study, the mechanism of urate paracellular transport was investigated in several epithelial cell lines including Madin–Darby canine kidney (MDCK) type I, Lilly Laboratories cell-porcine kidney 1 (LLC-PK1) and Caco-2 cells. Very little urate passed through MDCK and LLC-PK1 cell layers. In contrast, one of the Caco-2 cell lines was found to be urate-permeable. This urate paracellular movement across Caco-2 cell layer was not inhibited by the urate transporter inhibitor benzbromarone but was partially inhibited by 4,4′-diisothiocyanato-2,2′-stilbenedisulfonic acid (DIDS), which inhibits chloride transport. Detection and quantification of claudin proteins that are important for paracellular transport of ions were performed by LC/MS. Claudins 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 12 were detected in urate-permeable cell lines, BeWo cells and Caco-2 cells. We compared claudin expression patterns in urate-permeable and urate-non-permeable Caco-2 cells by LC/MS and found that claudin 12 had a higher expression level in urate-permeable Caco-2 cells. Overexpression of these claudins in MDCK cells did not increase urate paracellular transport. Although there were differences in claudin expression pattern between urate-permeable and non-permeable cells, increased expression of single claudin alone did not explain paracellular permeability of urate.