Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract Purpose. Our goals are to establish an in vitro screening system and to evaluate a new approach in improving oral absorption of peptides and peptide-like drugs by overexpression of the human intestinal oligo-peptide transporter (hPepTl). This study characterizes the expression of hPepTl in human intestinal Caco-2 cells, rat intestinal epithelial cells (IEC-18), and human cervix epithelial cells (Hela) after adenoviral transduction. Methods. A recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus carrying the hPepTl gene was made and used as a vector for the expression of hPepTl. The increase in the uptake permeability of cephalexin and Gly-Sar was determined. The effects of time, dose, apical pH, and substrate specificity were evaluated. Results. A significant increase in the uptake permeability of Gly-Sar and cephalexin was found in all three cell lines after viral transduction. The increase of Gly-Sar permeability in Hela, IEC-18, and Caco-2 cells was 85-, 46-, and 15-fold respectively. Immunoblotting using an antibody against hPepTl detected high levels of a 85-98-kDa protein in all three infected cell lines. Substrate permeability was dependent on time of infection, inward pH gradients, and multiplicity of infection (MOI). Decreased infectivity and lower hPepTl expression were observed in differentiated Caco-2 cells. The uptake was inhibited by dipeptides and β-lactam antibiotics but not amino acids. Conclusions. Adenoviral infected Hela cells displayed a pronounced level of hPepTl expression with a low background and high specificity to dipeptides. These features make this system a useful tool for screening of potential substrates. The success of overexpression of hPepTl in Caco-2 and IEC-18 cells may lead to a novel approach in improving oral absorption of peptides and peptidomimetic drugs.
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