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SLC15A2 and SLC15A4 Mediate the Transport of Bacterially Derived Di/Tripeptides To Enhance the Nucleotide-Binding Oligomerization Domain-Dependent Immune Response in Mouse Bone Marrow-Derived Macrophages.

  • Hu, Yongjun1
  • Song, Feifeng1, 2
  • Jiang, Huidi2
  • Nuñez, Gabriel3
  • Smith, David E4
  • 1 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.
  • 2 Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Analysis and Drug Metabolism, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China 310058; and. , (China)
  • 3 Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.
  • 4 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; [email protected]
Published Article
The Journal of Immunology
The American Association of Immunologists
Publication Date
May 21, 2018
DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1800210
PMID: 29784761


There is increasing evidence that proton-coupled oligopeptide transporters (POTs) can transport bacterially derived chemotactic peptides and therefore reside at the critical interface of innate immune responses and regulation. However, there is substantial contention regarding how these bacterial peptides access the cytosol to exert their effects and which POTs are involved in facilitating this process. Thus, the current study proposed to determine the (sub)cellular expression and functional activity of POTs in macrophages derived from mouse bone marrow and to evaluate the effect of specific POT deletion on the production of inflammatory cytokines in wild-type, Pept2 knockout and Pht1 knockout mice. We found that PEPT2 and PHT1 were highly expressed and functionally active in mouse macrophages, but PEPT1 was absent. The fluorescent imaging of muramyl dipeptide-rhodamine clearly demonstrated that PEPT2 was expressed on the plasma membrane of macrophages, whereas PHT1 was expressed on endosomal membranes. Moreover, both transporters could significantly influence the effect of bacterially derived peptide ligands on cytokine stimulation, as shown by the reduced responses in Pept2 knockout and Pht1 knockout mice as compared with wild-type animals. Taken as a whole, our results point to PEPT2 (at plasma membranes) and PHT1 (at endosomal membranes) working in concert to optimize the uptake of bacterial ligands into the cytosol of macrophages, thereby enhancing the production of proinflammatory cytokines. This new paradigm offers significant insight into potential drug development strategies along with transporter-targeted therapies for endocrine, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases.

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