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Mitochondrial and Plasma Membrane Citrate Transporters: Discovery of Selective Inhibitors and Application to Structure/Function Analysis

Author(s): Jiakang Sun | Sreevidya Aluvila | Rusudan Kotaria | June A. Mayor | D. Eric Walters | Ronald S. Kaplan

Journal: Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology
ISSN 1938-1247

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 101;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Citrate | Transporter | Mitochondria | Plasma membrane | Inhibitor discovery | Bioenergetics

Cytoplasmic citrate is the prime carbon source for fatty acid, triacylglycerol, and cholesterol biosyntheses, and also regulates glucose metabolism via its allosteric inhibition of phosphofructokinase. It originates either via the efflux of citrate from the mitochondrial matrix on the inner membrane citrate transport protein (CTP) or via the influx of extracellular citrate on the plasma membrane citrate transporter (PMCT). Despite their common substrate, the two transport proteins share little sequence similarity and they transport citrate via fundamentally different mechanisms. We tested the ability of a set of previously identified CTP inhibitors, to inhibit the PMCT. We found that of the top 10 CTP inhibitors only one substantially inhibited the PMCT. Conversely, we identified two other inhibitors that inhibited the PMCT but had little effect on the CTP. All three identified PMCT inhibitors displayed a noncompetitive mechanism. Furthermore, models to explain inhibitor interactions with the CTP are proposed. As part of the present studies a PMCT homology model has been developed based on the crystal structure of the leucine transporter, and a possible citrate binding site has been identified and its composition compared with the two known citrate binding sites present within the CTP. The ability to selectively inhibit the PMCT may prove key to the pharmacologic amelioration of metabolic disorders resulting from the synthesis of excess lipid, cholesterol, and glucose, including human obesity, hyperlipidemia, hyper-cholesterolemia, and Type 2 diabetes.
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