Publications : 2001

Yoon M, Park S, Park T. 2001. Stress-induced changes of taurine transporter activity in the human colon carcinoma cell line (HT-29). Korean J Nutr 34(2):150–157.


Intestinal absorption of dietary taurine is one of the regulatory component maintaining taurine homeostasis along with renal reabsorption, bile acid conjugation and secretion, and de nobo synthesis of taurine in mammals. Recent observations of decreased enterocytic levels of taurine in response to trauma, infection and surgical insults, postulate the possibility that intestinal taurine absorption might be impaired in such stressed conditions. The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes in enterocytic taurine transporter activity using the human intestinal colon carcinoma cell line, HT-29, in various stress-induced conditions. Pretreatment of the HT-29 cells with dexamethasone, a stress hormone(0.1,1,10 or 100M) for 3 hrs, or with E coli heat-stable enterotoxin(10, 100, or 200nM) for 30 minutes in order to induce the condition of enterotoxigenic infection did not influence taurine uptake as compared to the value found in control cells. In contrast, pretreatment of the cells with cholera toxin(10, 100, 500, or 1000ng/ml)for 3hr or 24hr significantly decreased taurine uptake by HT-29 cells to 40~50% of the value found in untreated control cells. Kinetic studies of the taurine transporter activity were conducted in control and cholera toxin treated HT-29 cells with varying taurine concentrations(2~60M) in the uptake medium. Pretreatment of the cells with cholera toxin(100ng/ml) for 3hr did not influence the Vmax, but resulted in a 55% increase in the Michaelis-Menten constant(Km) of the taurine transporter compared to those in control cells. These results suggest that cholera toxin-induced reduction in taurine transporter activity in HT-29 cells is associated with decreased affinity of the taurine transporter without altering the amount of transporter protein. Intestinal taurine absorption appears to be reduced in the condition of water-borne diseases caused by bacteria such as V. cholerae. This might influence the taurine status of infants and young children more readily, an age group in which the prevalence of intestinal infection is high and the role of intestinal absorption is crucial for maintaining the body taurine pool.