TCDB is operated by the Saier Lab Bioinformatics Group
Transporter Information:
Name: solute carrier family 22 (organic cation transporter), member 16
Symbol: SLC22A16
TC: 2.A.1.19.3
Locations: 6q22.1
Aliases: FLIPT2, CT2, OKB1
Swiss-Prot: Q8IZD5
Accession Number: NM_033125
PubMed (12372408): Eraly SA, Nigam SK. Novel human cDNAs homologous to Drosophila Orct and mammalian carnitinetransporters.Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Oct 11;297(5):1159-66. PMID: 12372408 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The molecular basis of the transport of organic ions (which include such medically important compounds as drugs, toxins, and metabolites) has been intensively studied ever since the identification of the prototypical anion and cation transporters, OAT1 (originally cloned by us as NKT) and OCT1. Here we report the cloning of two novel putative organic ion transporters with 12 predicted membrane spanning segments that are most homologous to mammalian OCTNs (carnitine transporters) and to the Drosophila putative transporter, Orct, an intriguing correspondence that led us to name our sequences Fly-like putative transporters (Flipts). Another transporter we cloned has recently been identified as OAT5. Inclusion of Flipts reveals that the organic ion transporter family tree has trifurcated into three branches, one bearing Flipts, OCTNs, and fly transporters, and the other two bearing OATs and OCTs. Flipts are widely expressed in adult kidney, brain, muscle, and other tissues; in contrast, OAT1 is largely in kidney, and OAT5, in liver. In the embryo as well, Flipts are broadly distributed, whereas OAT5 was found only in fetal liver. Flipt expression patterns resemble those of the phylogenetically related OCTNs, suggesting that Flipts might also participate in carnitine transport, particularly in brain, which has relatively high Flipt expression, including EST matches from amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus.

PubMed (12089149): Enomoto A, Wempe MF, Tsuchida H, Shin HJ, Cha SH, Anzai N, Goto A, SakamotoA, Niwa T, Kanai Y, Anders MW, Endou H. Molecular identification of a novel carnitine transporter specific to humantestis. Insights into the mechanism of carnitine recognition.J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 27;277(39):36262-71. Epub 2002 Jun 27. PMID: 12089149 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

l-Carnitine is an essential component of mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation and plays a pivotal role in the maturation of spermatozoa within the male reproductive tract. Epididymal plasma contains the highest levels of l-carnitine found in the human body, and initiation of sperm motility occurs in parallel to l-carnitine increase in the epididymal lumen. Using a specific carrier, epididymal epithelium secretes l-carnitine into the lumen by an active transport mechanism; however, the structure-activity relationship comprising the carnitine-permeation pathway is poorly understood. We discovered a novel carnitine transporter (CT2) specifically located in human testis. Analyzing the primary structure of CT2 revealed that it is phylogenetically located between the organic cation transporter (OCT/OCTN) and anion transporter (OAT) families. Hence, CT2 represents a novel transporter family. When expressed in Xenopus oocytes, CT2 mediates the high affinity transport of l-carnitine but does not accept mainstream OCT/OCTN cationic or OAT anionic substrates. We synthesized and tested various carnitine-related compounds and investigated the physicochemical properties of substrate recognition by semi-empirical computational chemistry. The data suggest that the quaternary ammonium cation bulkiness and relative hydrophobicity be the most important factors that trigger CT2-substrate interactions. Immunohistochemistry showed that the CT2 protein is located in the luminal membrane of epididymal epithelium and within the Sertoli cells of the testis. The identification of CT2 represents an interesting evolutionary link between OCT/OCTNs and OATs, as well as provides us with an important insight into the maturation of human spermatozoa.