Bile acid (BA) transport across the human microvillus maternal-facing trophoblast plasma membrane (mTPM) has been recently reported to be stimulated by the presence of ATP [Marin, Bravo, El-Mir and Serrano (1993) J. Hepatol. 18, S41]. Reconstitution of BA transport activity in proteoliposomes from human mTPM is reported in this paper. Typical characteristics of BA transport in native mTPM vesicles, including a requirement for ATP hydrolysis and inhibition by other BA species, were preserved in proteoliposome preparations. BA transport into 20- and 14-day-gestation rat mTPM vesicles was also stimulated by the presence of ATP as noted in human mTPM and in the rat liver canalicular membrane. Besides this functional similarity, these ATP-dependent carriers may share structural characteristics, as demonstrated by studies using an antibody (100 Ab) raised against the 100 kDa BA carrier of the canalicular membrane from rat liver which recognized proteins in both human and rat brush-border trophoblast membranes.

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