SLC14A2 is also known as urea transporter B (UT-B), urea transporter 2, solute carrier family 14 member 2 and urea transporter, kidney. It belongs to the urea transporters (UTs) which are a family of integral membrane proteins mediating the rapid and passive diffusion of urea down its concentration gradient. Two genes encode for UTs in mammals: SLC14A1 and SLC14A2. The SLC14A1 gene contains a single UT domain encoding the protein UT-B. In contrast, the SLC14A2 gene, which encodes UT-A, contains two UT domains in tandem.
|Basic Information of SLC14A2|
|Protein Name||Urea transporter 2|
|Aliases||Solute carrier family 14 member 2, Urea transporter, kidney, Urea transporter B (UT-B)|
|Organism||Homo sapiens (Human)|
In mammals, there are two types of urea transporters, UT-A and UT-B, encoded by the solute carrier family SLC14A2 and SLC14A1 genes, respectively. These genes share a high degree of homology and are aligned in tandem at chromosome 18q12.3 in humans. UT-A urea transporters are mainly expressed in kidney epithelial cells while SLC14A2 transporters demonstrate a broader tissue distribution including bladder. SLC14A2 also serves as a determinant antigen of the Kidd blood group on erythrocytes. Urea transporters (mainly SLC14A2) in non-renal tissues function as scavengers that prevent intracellular urea aggregation and intoxication. Studies in SLC14A2 knockout mice demonstrate that absence of SLC14A2 results in notable urea accumulation, abnormal morphology in the hippocampus and depression-like behavior and he urothelium urea concentration is 9 times higher in SLC14A2 knockout mice, which is accompanied by increased cell DNA damage, apoptosis and malfunction of arginine metabolism. In addition, SLC14A2 suppresses tumor growth, overexpression of SLC14A2 inhibits colony formation of lung cancer cell lines.
Fig.1 Structure of SLC14A2 membrane protein. (Levin, 2012)
This article reports that UT-B (SLC14A2) protein expression is significantly changed in bladder cancers and the aberrant UT-B expression may promote bladder cancer development or facilitate carcinogenesis induced by other carcinogens.
This article reveals that UT-B (SLC14A2) may play an important role in protecting bladder urothelium by balancing intracellular urea concentration. Disruption of UT-B (SLC14A2) function induces DNA damage and apoptosis in the bladder, which can result in bladder disorders.
This article illustrates UT-B protein (SLC14A2) expresses in different sections of the human colon and the results of this article suggest that UT-B urea transporters play an important role in maintaining the symbiotic relationship between humans and their gut bacteria.
The function studies show that the rate of urea conduction in UT-B (SLC14A2) is increased by hypoosmotic stress, and that the site of osmoregulation coincides with the location of the energy barrier.
The results of this article suggest that the reduction or loss of UT-B (SLC14A2) expression may be related to the incidence, progression and invasiveness of bladder urothelial carcinoma and UT-B may be a novel diagnostic or prognostic biomarker, as well as a potential therapeutic target in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder.
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