SLC38A1 Membrane Protein Introduction

Introduction of SLC38A1

System N/A neutral amino acid transporter (SNAT, SLC38A1) is a family of transporters involved in transferring neutral and aliphatic amino acids across the cell membrane. The SNAT family is also called SLC38 family. The transporters in this family are responsible for either system A or system N transport. SLC38A1 belongs to system A subfamily, meaning that this protein is exclusively Na+ dependent. It couples amino acid transport to the Na+ electrochemical potential gradient with 1:1 stoichiometry. Moreover, it could be inhibited by the amino acid analog 2-methylamino-isobutyric acid (MeAIB). Hydropathy analysis predicts that SLC38A1 has 11 membrane-spanning domains. The tissue distribution of this transporter includes the brain, retina, heart, placenta, adrenal gland. Primarily, it is expressed in neuronal cells of the brain, axons of ganglion cells in the nerve fiber, and optic nerves of the retina. SLC38A1 preferentially transports L-glutamine (Gln) followed by L-histidine and L-alanine.

Basic Information of SLC38A1
Protein Name Sodium-coupled neutral amino acid transporter 1
Gene Name SLC38A1
Aliases Amino acid transporter A1, N-system amino acid transporter 2, Solute carrier family 38 member 1, System A amino acid transporter 1, System N amino acid transporter 1
Organism Homo sapiens (Human)
UniProt ID Q9H2H9
Transmembrane Times 11
Length (aa) 487

Functions of SLC38A1 Membrane Protein

Various physiological studies and pathological studies have revealed the involvement of SLC38A1. Firstly, SLC38A1 has been postulated to play a critical role in Gln-glutamate recycling and in the generation of neurotransmitters. Additionally, the stimulation of neuronal differentiation associated with the enhancement of dendritic development by brain-derived neurotrophic factor requires the up-regulation of SLC38A1 expression. The low expression of SLC38A1 has been reported to be associated with suicidal behavior. Many studies have demonstrated that SLC38A1 played a potential role in cancer development and progression, including hepatocellular carcinoma, breast cancer, osteosarcoma, and cholangiocarcinoma. As a result, SLC38A1 might serve as a prognostic and therapeutic marker of these cancers or tumor diseases.

Proposed structure of human SNAT1. Fig.1 Proposed structure of human SNAT1.

Application of SLC38A1 Membrane Protein in Literature

  1. Jin L.W., et al. Dysregulation of glutamine transporter SNAT1 in Rett syndrome microglia: a mechanism for mitochondrial dysfunction and neurotoxicity. Journal of Neuroscience. 2015, 35(6): 2516-2529. PubMed ID: 25673846

    This study characterized the role of SLC38A1, which was a MeCP2 target gene, in microglia to understand the mechanism of microglia dysfunction in Rett syndrome. The results suggested a therapeutic potential of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants for Rett syndrome.

  2. Iyer R.P., et al. N-Glycosylation influences transport, but not cellular trafficking, of a neuronal amino acid transporter SNAT1. Biochemical Journal. 2016, 473(22): 4227-4242. PubMed ID: 27655909

    This study investigated the N-glycosylation of SNAT1 and the importance of N-glycosylation for SNAT1 function. The results showed that there were three de novo glycosylation sites and this modification might play an important role in the transport of substrates across the cell membrane.

  3. Dikalova A., et al. Sodium-coupled neutral amino acid transporter 1 (SNAT1) modulates L-citrulline transport and nitric oxide (NO) signaling in piglet pulmonary arterial endothelial cells. PloS one. 2014, 9(1): e85730. PubMed ID: 24454923

    This study investigated the functional link between the SNATs, L-citrulline, and NO signaling using the siRNA technique. The results showed that SNAT1 mediated L-citrulline transport modulated eNOS coupling and thus regulated NO production in hypoxic PAECs from newborn piglets, suggesting that increasing the SNAT1-mediated L-citrulline might be potential therapeutic strategies to enhance NO production in patients with pulmonary vascular diseases.

  4. Wang K., et al. Activation of SNAT1/SLC38A1 in human breast cancer: correlation with p-Akt overexpression. BMC cancer. 2013, 13(1): 343. PubMed ID: 23848995

    This study investigated SNAT1 expression in breast cancers and explored the underlying mechanism of this protein in promoting breast carcinogenesis using RT-PCR, Western blotting, and tissue microarray. Results showed that the correlation of SANT1 with Akt signaling might play a critical role in the development and progression of breast cancer.

  5. Bröer A., et al. Deletion of amino acid transporter ASCT2 (SLC1A5) reveals an essential role for transporters SNAT1 (SLC38A1) and SNAT2 (SLC38A2) to sustain glutaminolysis in cancer cells. Journal of biological chemistry. 2016, 291(25): 13194-205. PubMed ID: 27129276

    Using Hela epithelial cervical cancer cells and 143B osteosarcoma cells that expressed glutamine transporters such as SNAT1, this study investigated the role of these transporters for glutaminolysis. The results showed that the expression of SNAT1 and SNAT2 were required for glutamine uptake.

SLC38A1 Preparation Options

During the past decades, Creative Biolabs has devoted to the exploration of the whole process of membrane protein expression, solubilization, purification, and characterization. We have developed our versatile Magic™ membrane protein platform that employs various cutting-edge techniques to pursue membrane protein products that maximally preserve the structural and functional integrity. Flexible options for membrane protein preparation include detergent micelles, bicelles, liposomes, nanodiscs, and polymers. Besides, virus-like particle technology is also provided for high-density membrane protein production.

Aided by our versatile Magic™ anti-membrane protein antibody discovery platform, we also provide customized anti-SLC38A1 antibody development services.

Creative Biolabs has gained remarkable success in obtaining different types of difficult-to-prepare membrane proteins. We are happy to share this expertise with our clients and promote their brilliant studies. Please feel free to contact us for a detailed quote.

Online Inquiry

Verification code
Click image to refresh the verification code.


USA: 45-1 Ramsey Road, Shirley, NY 11967, USA
Europe: Heidenkampsweg 58, 20097 Hamburg, Germany
Call us at:
USA: 1-631-381-2994
Europe: 44-207-097-1828
Fax: 1-631-207-8356
Our customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact Us