2014 年 63 巻 4 号 p. 467-473
While carnitine has been reported to have an anti-oxidative role on the ocular surface, there has been no report on the existence of a carnitine transporter (SLC22A5) in the lens. Therefore, we investigated the carnitine transport activity of canine lens epithelial cells (LEC) and determined the molecular structure of canine SLC22A5. The carnitine transport activity was 7.16 ± 0.48 pmol/mg protein/30 min. Butyrobetaine, the analogue of carnitine, reduced 30% of the activity at 50 µM. A coding sequence of canine carnitine transporter was 1694 bp long and was predicted to encode 557 amino acid polypeptides. The deduced amino acid sequence of canine carnitine transporter showed >80% similarity to that of mouse and human. Western blot analysis detected the band at 60 kDa in the membrane of lens epithelial cells. The high content of carnitine in the lens is possibly transported from aqueous humor by SLC22A5.