The SLC43 family is composed of only three genes coding for the plasma membrane facilitator system l amino acid transporters LAT3 (SLC43A1; TC 2.A.1.44.1) and LAT4 (SLC43A2; TC 2.A.1.44.2), and the orphan protein EEG1 (SLC43A3; TC 2.A.1.44.3). Besides the known mechanism of transport of LAT3 and LAT4, their physiological roles still remain quite obscure. Morphants suggested a role of LAT3 in renal podocyte development in zebrafish. Expression in liver and skeletal muscle, and up-regulation by starvation suggest a role of LAT3 in the flux of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) from liver and skeletal muscle to the bloodstream. Finally, LAT3 is up-regulated in androgen-dependent cancers, suggesting a role in mTORC1 signaling in this type of tumors. In addition, LAT4 might contribute to the transfer of BCAAs from mother to fetus. Unfortunately, the EEG1 mouse model (EEG1(Y221∗)) described here has not yet offered a clue to the physiological role of this orphan protein.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.