The transport of uridine into rabbit renal outer-cortical brush-border and basolateral membrane vesicles was compared at 22 degrees C. Uridine was taken up into an osmotically active space in the absence of metabolism for both types of membrane vesicles. Uridine influx by brush-border membrane vesicles was stimulated by Na+, and in the presence of inwardly directed gradients of Na+ a transient overshoot phenomenon was observed, indicating active transport. Kinetic analysis of the saturable Na+-dependent component of uridine flux indicated that it was consistent with Michaelis-Menten kinetics (Km 12 +/- 3 microM, Vmax. 3.9 +/- 0.9 pmol/s per mg of protein). The sodium:uridine coupling stoichiometry was found to be consistent with 1:1 and involved the net transfer of positive charge. In contrast, uridine influx by basolateral membrane vesicles was not dependent on the cation present and was inhibited by nitrobenzylthioinosine (NBMPR). NBMPR-sensitive uridine transport was saturable (Km 137 +/- 20 microM, Vmax. 5.2 +/- 0.6 pmol/s per mg of protein). Inhibition of uridine flux by NBMPR was associated with high-affinity binding of NBMPR to the basolateral membrane (Kd 0.74 +/- 0.46 nM). Binding of NBMPR to these sites was competitively blocked by adenosine and uridine. These results indicate that uridine crosses the brush-border surface of rabbit proximal renal tubule cells by Na+-dependent pathways, but permeates the basolateral surface by NBMPR-sensitive facilitated-diffusion carriers.

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