The efficacy of boron neutron capture therapy relies on the selective delivery of boron carriers to malignant cells. p-Boronophenylalanine (BPA), a boron delivery agent, has been proposed to be localized to cells through transporter-mediated mechanisms. In this study, we screened aromatic amino acid transporters to identify BPA transporters. Human aromatic amino acid transporters were functionally expressed in Xenopus oocytes and examined for BPA uptake and kinetic parameters. The roles of the transporters in BPA uptake were characterized in cancer cell lines. For the quantitative assessment of BPA uptake, HPLC was used throughout the study. Among aromatic amino acid transporters, ATB0,+, LAT1 and LAT2 were found to transport BPA with Km values of 137.4 ± 11.7, 20.3 ± 0.8 and 88.3 ± 5.6 μM, respectively. Uptake experiments in cancer cell lines revealed that the LAT1 protein amount was the major determinant of BPA uptake at 100 μM, whereas the contribution of ATB0,+ became significant at 1000 μM, accounting for 20-25% of the total BPA uptake in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. ATB0,+, LAT1 and LAT2 transport BPA at affinities comparable with their endogenous substrates, suggesting that they could mediate effective BPA uptake in vivo. The high and low affinities of LAT1 and ATB0,+, respectively, differentiate their roles in BPA uptake. ATB0,+, as well as LAT1, could contribute significantly to the tumor accumulation of BPA at clinical dose.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research