Enhanced Diagnostic Tools
A family of anion exchangers (AEs) including AE1, AE2 and AE3 has been described. AE3 gene has been shown to encode two alternatively spliced isoforms termed as bAE3 (brain subtype) and cAE3 (cardiac subtype). The identity of the AE(s) involved in the human intestinal NaCl absorption is not fully understood. Current studies were undertaken to identify the AE isoforms expressed in the human intestine, to define their regional and vertical axis (crypt vs. surface cells) distribution, and to elucidate their membrane localization in the epithelial cells along the entire length of the human intestine. Our studies utilizing reverse transcription (RT)-PCR with total RNA extracted from pinch biopsies from various regions of the human intestine demonstrate that AE2 and bAE3 but not AE1 or cAE3 were expressed in all the regions of the human intestine. Utilizing in situ RT-PCR, we demonstrated that the message of AE2 was expressed throughout the vertical surface-crypt axis of the colon. Our Western blotting studies demonstrated that AE2 and bAE3 are localized to the basolateral but not the apical membranes of the intestinal epithelial cells from the human ileum and colon. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that in the human intestine, AE2 and bAE3, but not AE1 or cAE3, are expressed throughout the tract with the highest expression in the colon compared to the ileum and jejunum. Both the isoforms were found to be localized to the basolateral but not the apical membranes of the epithelial cells. We speculate that, in the human intestine, AE2 and bAE3 may be the `housekeeping'' isoforms, and the apical AE, the potential candidate for chloride absorption, remains to be identified. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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