Normal body homeostasis of bi-otin is critically dependent on its renal recovery by kidney proximal tubular epithelial cells, a process that is mediated by the sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter (SMVT; a product of the SLC5A6 gene). Chronic ethanol consumption interferes with the renal reab-sorption process of a variety of nutrients, including water-soluble vitamins. To date, however, there is nothing known about the effect of chronic alcohol feeding on physiological and molecular parameters of the renal biotin reabsorption process. We addressed these issues using rats and transgenic mice carrying the human SLC5A6 (P1P2) 5′-regulatory region as an in vivo model systems of alcohol exposure, and cultured human renal proximal tubular epithelial HK-2 cells chronically exposed to alcohol as an in vitro model of alcohol exposure. The [3H]biotin uptake results showed that chronic ethanol feeding in rats leads to a significant inhibition in carrier-mediated biotin transport across both renal brush border and basolateral membrane domains. This inhibition was associated with a marked reduction in the level of expression of SMVT protein, mRNA, and heter-ogenous nuclear RNA (hnRNA). Furthermore, studies with transgenic mice carrying the SLC5A6 5 ′-regulatory region showed that chronic alcohol feeding leads to a significant decrease in promoter activity. Studies with HK-2 cells chronically exposed to alcohol again showed a marked reduction in carrier-mediated biotin uptake, which was associated with a significant reduction in promoter activity of the human SLC5A6 5 ′-regulatory region. These findings demonstrate for the first time that chronic ethanol feeding inhibits renal biotin transport and that this effect is, at least in part, being exerted at the transcriptional level.
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