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Estrogen regulation and ion dependence of taurine uptake by MCF-7 human breast cancer cells


It has been reported that estrogen receptor-positive MCF-7 cells express TauT, a Na+-dependent taurine transporter. However, there is a paucity of information relating to the characteristics of taurine transport in this human breast cancer cell line. Therefore, we have examined the characteristics and regulation of taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells. Taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells showed an absolute dependence upon extracellular Na+. Although taurine uptake was reduced in Cl- free medium a significant portion of taurine uptake persisted in the presence of NO3 -. Taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells was inhibited by extracellular β-alanine but not by L-alanine or L-leucine. 17β-estadiol increased taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells: the Vmax of influx was increased without affecting the Km. The effect of 17β-estradiol on taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells was dependent upon the presence of extracellular Na+. In contrast, 17β-estradiol had no significant effect on the kinetic parameters of taurine uptake by estrogen receptor-negative MDA-MB-231 cells. It appears that estrogen regulates taurine uptake by MCF-7 cells via TauT. In addition, Na+-dependent taurine uptake may not be strictly dependent upon extracellular Cl-.



3-(N-Morpholino)-propanesulfonic acid


taurine transporter




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Correspondence to David B. Shennan.

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Shennan, D.B., Thomson, J. Estrogen regulation and ion dependence of taurine uptake by MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Cell Mol Biol Lett 12, 396–406 (2007).

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  • Breast cancer
  • Taurine uptake
  • Estrogen