Localization of a human reduced folate carrier protein in the mitochondrial as well as the cell membrane of leukemia cells

Tanya M. Trippett, Shawna Garcia, Katia Manova, Roshni Mody, Leona Cohen-Gould, Wayne Flintoff, Joseph R. Bertino

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18 Scopus citations


IgG polyclonal antiserum was generated in New Zealand White rabbits immunized with a 16-mer peptide consisting of a specific amino acid sequence at residues corresponding to the sixth to seventh predicted transmembrane domain of the human reduced folate carrier (RFC). Using Western immunoblotting to examine the cytosolic and membrane fractions of the human CCRF-CEM T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia cell line, polyclonal antihuman RFC antiserum recognized two bands in the cytosolic fraction (approximately 60 kDa and approximately 70 kDa) on 10% polyacrylamide gels. In the membrane fraction, an approximately 60-kDa protein was identified. Comparative studies of a panel of human tumor cell lines including the HT1080 fibrosarcoma, 8805 malignant fibrous histiocytoma, and the MCF breast cancer cell lines revealed similar findings. Likewise, a recombinant approximately 60-kDa membrane protein was identified after expression of baculovirus-infected Sf9 insect cells containing cDNA of the human RFC. In the CEM-7A cell line, a variant of the CCRF-CEM cell line that overexpresses the RFC, 21-fold overexpression of the approximately 60-kDa membrane protein (RFC) was shown by Western analysis. To characterize further the cellular distribution of the human RFC, immunohistochemical analyses were performed in CCRF-CEM T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia cells. Predominantly membrane localization of the antibody reacting sites was detected; however, a cytoplasmic component was noted as well. By confocal microscopy and by immunogold electron microscopy, the cytoplasmic expression was found to be largely of mitochondrial origin. These findings were corroborated by Western immunoblotting of mitochondrial membrane isolates from the CCRF-CEM cell line, which demonstrate an approximately 60-kDa protein. The localization of the human RFC to the mitochondrial membrane is a novel finding, and it suggests a role for the mitochondrial membrane in the transport of folates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1941-1947
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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