The mechanisms of transport of p-(dihydroxyboryl)-phenylalanine (BPA) through the cell membrane were investigated in vitro, evaluating especially the systems responsible for the transport of neutral amino acids as potential carriers for BPA. Rat 9L gliosarcoma cells and Chinese hamster V79 cells were exposed to BPA under controlled conditions and in a defined medium that was free of amino acids. The time course of (10)B (delivered by BPA) uptake and efflux was measured under different conditions. To analyze the intracellular boron content, direct-current plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (DCP-AES) was used after separating the cells from extracellular boron in the cell medium using an oil filtration technique. The dependence of factors such as cell type, temperature, composition and concentration of amino acids and specific substrates for amino acid transport systems in the culture medium or in intracellular compartments on BPA uptake and efflux were studied. The results of this study support the hypothesis that BPA is transported by the L system and that transport can be further stimulated by amino acids preaccumulated in the cell by either the L or A amino acid transport system.
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