We identified a novel prostaglandin (PG)-specific organic anion transporter (OAT) in the OAT group of the SLC22 family. The transporter designated OAT-PG from mouse kidney exhibited Na+-independent and saturable transport of PGE2 when expressed in a proximal tubule cell line (S 2). Unusual for OAT members, OAT-PG showed narrow substrate selectivity and high affinity for a specific subset of PGs, including PGE 2, PGF2α, and PGD2. Similar to PGE 2 receptor and PGT, a structurally distinct PG transporter, OAT-PG requires for its substrates an α-carboxyl group, with a double bond between C13 and C14 as well as a (S)-hydroxyl group at C15. Unlike the PGE 2 receptor, however, the hydroxyl group at C11 in a cyclopentane ring is not essential for OAT-PG substrates. Addition of a hydroxyl group at C19 or C20 impairs the interaction with OAT-PG, whereas an ethyl group at C20 enhances the interaction, suggesting the importance of hydrophobicity around the ω-tail tip forming a "hydrophobic core" accompanied by a negative charge, which is essential for substrates of OAT members. OAT-PG-mediated transport is concentrative in nature, although OAT-PG mediates both facilitative and exchange transport. OAT-PG is kidney-specific and localized on the basolateral membrane of proximal tubules where a PG-inactivating enzyme, 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase, is expressed. Because of the fact that 15-keto-PGE2, the metabolite of PGE 2 produced by 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase, is not a substrate of OAT-PG, the transport-metabolism coupling would make unidirectional PGE2 transport more efficient. By removing extracellular PGE2, OAT-PG is proposed to be involved in the local PGE2 clearance and metabolism for the inactivation of PG signals in the kidney cortex.
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