Biomolecules & Therapeutics
Change in Cationic Amino Acid Transport System and Effect of Lysine Pretreatment on Inflammatory State in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Cell Model
Sana Latif and Young-Sook Kang*
College of Pharmacy and Drug Information Research Institute, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 04310, Republic of Korea
Tel: +82-2-710-9562, Fax: +82-2-710-9871
Received: February 19, 2021; Revised: March 31, 2021; Accepted: April 2, 2021; Published online: May 3, 2021.
© The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal neurological disorder characterized by the deterioration of motor neurons. The aim of this study was to investigate alteration of cationic amino acid transporter (CAT-1) activity in the transport of lysine and the pretreatment effect of lysine on pro-inflammatory states in an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis cell line. The mRNA expression of cationic amino acid transporter 1 was lower in NSC-34/hSOD1G93A (MT) than the control cell line (WT), lysine transport is mediated by CAT-1 in NSC-34 cell lines. The uptake of [3H]L-lysine was Na+-independent, voltage-sensitive, and strongly inhibited by inhibitors and substrates of cationic amino acid transporter 1 (system y+). The transport process involved two saturable processes in both cell lines. In the MT cell line, at a high-affinity site, the affinity was 9.4-fold higher and capacity 24-fold lower than that in the WT; at a low-affinity site, the capacity was 2.3-fold lower than that in the WT cell line. Donepezil and verapamil competitively inhibited [3H]L-lysine uptake in the NSC-34 cell lines. Pretreatment with pro-inflammatory cytokines decreased the uptake of [3H]L-lysine and mRNA expression levels in both cell lines; however, the addition of L-lysine restored the transport activity in the MT cell lines. L-Lysine exhibited neuroprotective effects against pro-inflammatory states in the ALS disease model cell lines. In conclusion, studying the alteration in the expression of transporters and characteristics of lysine transport in ALS can lead to the development of new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.
Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, NSC-34 cell lines, L-Lysine, Motor neuron disease, Cationic amino acid transporter 1

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