CAT2-mediated L-arginine transport and nitric oxide production in activated macrophages

D K Kakuda, M J Sweet, C L Mac Leod, D A Hume, D Markovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Activated macrophages require l-arginine uptake to sustain NO synthesis. Several transport systems could mediate this l-arginine influx. Using competition analysis and gene-expression studies, amino acid transport system y+ was identified as the major carrier responsible for this activity. To identify which of the four known y+ transport-system genes is involved in macrophage-induced l-arginine uptake, we used a hybrid-depletion study in Xenopus oocytes. Cationic amino acid transporter (CAT) 2 antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides abolished the activated-macrophage-mRNA-induced l-arginine transport. Together with expression studies documenting that CAT2 mRNA and protein levels are elevated with increased l-arginine uptake, our data demonstrate that CAT2 mediates the l-arginine transport that is required for the raised NO production in activated J774 macrophages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-53
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical Journal
Volume340 ( Pt 2)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1999


  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Basic
  • Animals
  • Arginine
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Transport
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Primers
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Macrophages
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nitric Oxide
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Xenopus laevis


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