Determination of single-molecule transport activity of OATP2B1 by measuring the number of transporter molecules using electrophysiological approach

J Pharmacol Sci. 2023 Nov;153(3):153-160. doi: 10.1016/j.jphs.2023.08.008. Epub 2023 Sep 1.


Transporter-mediated clearance is determined by two factors, its single-molecule clearance, and expression level. However, no reliable method has been developed to evaluate them separately. This study aimed to develop a reliable method for evaluating the single-molecule activity of membrane transporters, such as organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP) 2B1. HEK293 cells that co-expressed large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) channel and OATP2B1 were established and used for the following experiments. i) BK channel-mediated whole-cell conductance was measured using patch-clamp technique and divided by its unitary conductance to estimate the number of channels on plasma membrane (QI). ii) Using plasma membrane fraction, quantitative targeted absolute proteomics determined the stoichiometric ratio (ρ) of OATP2B1 to BK channel. iii) The uptake of estrone 3-sulfate was evaluated to calculate the Michaelis constant and uptake clearance (CL) per cell. Single-molecule clearance (CLint) was calculated by dividing CL by QI·ρ. QI and ρ values were estimated to be 916 and 2.16, respectively, yielding CLint of 5.23 fL/min/molecule. We successfully developed a novel method to reliably measure the single-molecule activity of a transporter, which could be used to evaluate the influences of factors such as genetic variations and post-translational modifications on the intrinsic activity of transporters.

Keywords: Intrinsic activity; Patch clamp; Potassium channel; Targeted proteomics; Turnover rate.