Nitric oxide-mediated inhibition of taurocholate uptake involves S-nitrosylation of NTCP

Christopher M. Schonhoff, Umadevi Ramasamy, M. Sawkat Anwer


The sodium-taurocholate (TC) cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) facilitates bile formation by mediating sinusoidal Na+-TC cotransport. During sepsis-induced cholestasis, there is a decrease in NTCP-dependent uptake of bile acids and an increase in nitric oxide (NO) levels in hepatocytes. In rat hepatocytes NO inhibits Na+-dependent uptake of taurocholate. The aim of this study was to extend these findings to human NTCP and to further investigate the mechanism by which NO inhibits TC uptake. Using a human hepatoma cell line stably expressing NTCP (HuH-NTCP), we performed experiments with the NO donors sodium nitroprusside and S-nitrosocysteine and demonstrated that NO inhibits TC uptake in these cells. Kinetic analyses revealed that NO significantly decreased the Vmax but not the Km of TC uptake by NTCP, indicating noncompetitive inhibition. NO decreased the amount of NTCP in the plasma membrane, providing a molecular mechanism for the noncompetitive inhibition of TC uptake. One way that NO can modify protein function is through a posttranslational modification known as S-nitrosylation: the binding of NO to cysteine thiols. Using a biotin switch technique we observed that NTCP is S-nitrosylated under conditions in which NO inhibits TC uptake. Moreover, dithiothreitol reversed NO-mediated inhibition of TC uptake and S-nitrosylation of NTCP, indicating that NO inhibits TC uptake via modification of cysteine thiols. In addition, NO treatment led to a decrease in Ntcp phosphorylation. Taken together these results indicate that the inhibition of TC uptake by NO involves S-nitrosylation of NTCP.

  • sodium-taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide
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