J. Membrane Biol. 183, 1–14 (2001) The Journal of DOI: 10.1007/s00232-001-0048-7 Membrane Biology © Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2001 Topical Review C.P. Smith, G. Rousselet School of Biological Science, University of Manchester, G38 Stopford Building, Manchester, M13 9PT. Service de Biologie Cellulaire, CEA/Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette Cedex, France Received: 4 October 2000/Revised: 23 January 2001 Introduction much higher than could be explained by passive lipid diffusion alone (for details, see review by Marsh & Knepper, 1992). This inconsistency prompted the notion Urea is the major end-product of amino acid deamination that urea crosses biological membranes by a carrier- in mammals and consequently is often considered a mediated mechanism. In the late 1980s, several studies waste product of metabolism. However, regulated pointed to the existence of specific urea transporter (UT) movement of urea across plasma membranes underlies proteins distinct from those responsible for water trans- fundamental biological processes that include urinary port (Chou & Knepper, 1989; Chou et al., 1990; Star, concentration and urea nitrogen salvaging. Urea trans- 1990). porter (UT) proteins are central to modulating urea Definitive proof of the existence of UT proteins movement across biological membranes, and over the soon followed with the isolation from kidney
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2001
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