Sodium-dependent dicarboxylate transporters located in the basolateral membrane (NaDC-3) of renal proximal tubule cells maintain the driving force for exchange of organic anions and drugs against α-ketoglutarate via organic anion transporters OAT1 and OAT3. So far, information on direct interaction of drugs with the cloned NaDC-3 was missing. Here we tested the interaction of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and benzylpenicillin with NaDC-3 cloned from winter flounder (fNaDC-3) and human (hNaDC-3) kidneys. Flufenamate and benzylpenicillin inhibited [14C]succinate uptake in oocytes expressing fNaDC-3. Flufenamate elicited Na+-dependent currents in oocytes expressing fNaDC-3 with a reversal potential around -60 mV. Raising extracellular K+ concentration depolarized fNaDC3-expressing oocytes more in the presence of flufenamate than in its absence, an effect not seen with water-injected control oocytes. These findings suggest that flufenamate via interaction with fNaDC-3 increased the K+ conductance. Acetylsalicylate, indomethacin, and salicylate showed small potential-dependent inward currents in fNaDC-3 but not in hNaDC-3 expressing oocytes. Benzylpenicillin induced voltage-dependent inward currents which were Na+-dependent in oocytes expressing fNaDC-3. The currents were, however, much smaller than those induced by succinate, reflecting probably a low fit of the monovalent benzylpenicillin to the dicarboxylate binding site. The data show hitherto unknown effects of monovalent anionic drugs on a transporter for divalent di- and tricarboxylates.

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