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The uptake mechanism of phenoxyacetic acid (PA) and its chlorine derivatives, 4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (4-CPA), 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), was investigated using Caco-2 cells. The cells were incubated with PA, 4-CPA, 2,4-D or 2,4,5-T at pH 6.0 and 37 degrees C. The order of uptake and lipophilicity expressed by n-octanol partition coefficients were PA<4-CPA<2,4-D<2,4,5-T. Incubation at 4 degrees C or at pH 7.4 significantly decreased these uptake. Furthermore, pretreatment with the protonophore, carbonylcyanide-p-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone, or coincubation with benzoic acid, a typical substrate for the proton-linked monocarboxylic acid transporters (MCTs), significantly decreased the uptake of all compounds. The initial uptake rates of all compounds except PA were apparently saturable, suggesting the involvement of a carrier-mediated process. The order of uptake clearance of the compounds was the same as the order of their uptake and lipophilicity. Preloading of cells with benzoic acid significantly increased their uptake except for PA. These results suggest that the uptake of PA, 4-CPA, 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T from the apical membrane of Caco-2 cells is mediated via common MCTs shared, at least in part, with benzoic acid, and the increase in lipophilicity due to the chlor-substitution may increase uptake via the MCTs.


Osamu Kimura, Kensuke Tsukagoshi, Tetsuya Endo. Uptake of phenoxyacetic acid derivatives into Caco-2 cells by the monocarboxylic acid transporters. Toxicology letters. 2009 Sep 10;189(2):102-9

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PMID: 19465094

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