Taurine is a small organic osmolyte which participates in cell volume regulation. Chondrocytes have been shown to accumulate and release taurine; in bone, taurine participates in bone metabolism. However, its role in skeletal cells is poorly understood, especially in chondrocytes. This study investigated the regulation of taurine transporter in chondrocytic cells. We examined the transcriptional regulation of the taurine transporter under anisotonia by reporter gene and real-time RT-PCR assays. The effect of providing supplementary taurine on cell viability was evaluated with the lactate dehydrogenase release assay. The localization of the taurine transporter in human chondrosarcoma cells was studied by overexpressing a taurine transporter-enhanced green fluorescent protein. We observed that the transcription of the taurine transporter gene was up-regulated in hypertonic conditions. Hyperosmolarity-related cell death could be partly abolished by taurine supplementation in the medium. As expected, the fluorescently labeled taurine transporter localized at the plasma membrane. In polarized epithelial MDCK cells, the strongest fluorescence signal was located in the lateral cell membrane area. We also observed that the taurine transporter gene was expressed in several human tissues and malignant cell lines. This is the first study to present information on the transcriptional regulation of taurine transporter gene and the localization of the taurine transporter protein in chondrocytic cells.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Bradford MM (1976) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitation of microgram quantities of protein utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72:248–254
Conte Camerino D, Tricarico D, Pierno S, Desaphy JF, Liantonio A, Pusch M, Burdi R, Camerino C, Fraysse B, De Luca A (2004) Taurine and skeletal muscle disorders. Neurochem Res 29:135–142
Fort P, Marty L, Piechaczyk M, el Sabrouty S, Dani C, Jeanteur P, Blanchard JM (1985) Various rat adult tissues express only one major mRNA species from the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate-dehydrogenase multigenic family. Nucleic Acids Res 13:1431–1442
Froger N, Jammoul F, Gaucher D, Cadetti L, Lorach H, Degardin J, Pain D, Dubus E, Forster V, Ivkovic I, Simonutti M, Sahel JA, Picaud S (2013) Taurine is a crucial factor to preserve retinal ganglion cell survival. Adv Exp Med Biol 775:69–83
Hall AC (1995) Volume-sensitive taurine transport in bovine articular chondrocytes. J Physiol 484:755–766
Hall AC, Bush PG (2001) The role of a swelling-activated taurine transport pathway in the regulation of articular chondrocyte volume. Pflugers Arch 442:771–781
Han X, Budreau AM, Chesney RW (2000) Cloning and characterization of the promoter region of the rat taurine transporter (TauT) gene. Adv Exp Med Biol 483:97–108
Hoffmann EK, Lambert IH, Pedersen SF (2009) Physiology of cell volume regulation in vertebrates. Physiol Rev 89:193–277
Holmdahl R, Rubin K, Klareskog L, Larsson E, Wigzell H (1986) Characterization of the antibody response in mice with type II collagen-induced arthritis, using monoclonal anti-type II collagen antibodies. Arthritis Rheum 29:400–410
Huxtable RJ (1992) Physiological actions of taurine. Physiol Rev 72:101–163
Ito T, Fujio Y, Hirata M, Takatani T, Matsuda T, Muraoka S, Takahashi K, Azuma J (2004) Expression of taurine transporter is regulated through the TonE (tonicity-responsive element)/TonEBP (TonE-binding protein) pathway and contributes to cytoprotection in HepG2 cells. Biochem J 382:177–182
Ito T, Muraoka S, Takahashi K, Fujio Y, Schaffer SW, Azuma J (2009) Beneficial effect of taurine treatment against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity in mice. Adv Exp Med Biol 643:65–74
Jeon SH, Lee MY, Kim SJ, Joe SG, Kim GB, Kim IS, Kim NS, Hong CU, Kim SZ, Kim JS, Kang HS (2007) Taurine increases cell proliferation and generates an increase in [Mg2+]i accompanied by ERK 1/2 activation in human osteoblast cells. FEBS Lett 581:5929–5934
Kaitainen S, Mähönen AJ, Lappalainen R, Kröger H, Lammi J, Qu MC (2013) TiO2 coating promotes human mesenchymal stem cell proliferation without the loss of their capacity for chondrogenic differentiation. Biofabrication 5:025009
Kevresan S, Kuhajda K, Kandrac J, Fawcett JP, Mikov M (2006) Biosynthesis of bile acids in mammalian liver. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet 31:145–156
Koide M, Okahashi N, Tanaka R, Kazuno K, Shibasaki K, Yamazaki Y, Kaneko K, Ueda N, Ohguchi M, Ishihara Y, Noguchi T, Nishihara T (1999) Inhibition of experimental bone resorption and osteoclast formation and survival by 2-aminoethanesulphonic acid. Arch Oral Biol 44:711–719
Lambert IH (2004) Modulation of volume-sensitive taurine release from NIH3T3 mouse fibroblasts by reactive oxygen species. Adv Exp Med Biol 559:369–378
Lang F (2007) Mechanisms and significance of cell volume regulation. J Am Coll Nutr 26:613S–623S
Marcinkiewicz J, Kontny E (2012) Taurine and inflammatory diseases. Amino Acids 46:7–20
Neidlinger-Wilke C, Wilke HJ, Claes L (1994) Cyclic stretching of human osteoblasts affects proliferation and metabolism: a new experimental method and its application. J Orthop Res 12:70–78
Qu CJ, Pöytäkangas T, Jauhiainen M, Auriola S, Lammi MJ (2009) Glucosamine sulphate does not increase extracellular matrix production at low oxygen tension. Cell Tissue Res 337:103–111
Qu C, Lindeberg H, Ylärinne JH, Lammi MJ (2012) Five percent oxygen tension is not beneficial for neocartilage formation in scaffold-free cell cultures. Cell Tissue Res 348:109–117
Qu C, Puttonen KA, Lindeberg H, Ruponen M, Hovatta O, Koistinaho J, Lammi MJ (2013) Chondrogenic differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells in chondrocyte co-culture. Int J Biochem Cell Biol 45:1802–1812
Ripps H, Shen W (2012) Review: taurine: a “very essential” amino acid. Mol Vis 18:2673–2686
Takigawa M, Tajima K, Pan HO, Enomoto M, Kinoshita A, Suzuki F, Takano Y, Mori Y (1989) Establishment of a clonal human chondrosarcoma cell line with cartilage phenotypes. Cancer Res 49:3996–4002
Tsai TT, Guttapalli A, Agrawal A, Albert TJ, Shapiro IM, Risbud MV (2007) MEK/ERK signaling controls osmoregulation of nucleus pulposus cells of the intervertebral disc by transactivation of TonEBP/OREBP. J Bone Miner Res 22:965–974
Turunen SM, Lammi MJ, Saarakkala S, Koistinen A, Korhonen RK (2012) Hypotonic challenge modulates cell volumes differently in the superficial zone of intact articular cartilage and cartilage explant. Biomech Model Mechanobiol 11:665–675
Urban JP (1994) The chondrocyte: a cell under pressure. Br J Rheumatol 33:901–908
Yamori Y, Taguchi T, Hamada A, Kunimasa K, Mori H, Mori M (2010) Taurine in health and diseases: consistent evidence from experimental and epidemiological studies. J Biomed Sci 17(Suppl 1):S6. doi:10.1186/1423-0127-17-S1-S6
Yancey PH (2005) Organic osmolytes as compatible, metabolic and counteracting cytoprotectants in high osmolarity and other stresses. J Exp Biol 208:2819–2830
Yuan LQ, Xie H, Luo XH, Wu XP, Zhou HD, Lu Y, Liao EY (2006) Taurine transporter is expressed in osteoblasts. Amino Acids 31:157–163
Yuan LQ, Liu W, Cui RR, Wang D, Meng JC, Xie H, Wu XP, Zhou HD, Lu Y, Liao EY (2010) Taurine inhibits osteoclastogenesis through the taurine transporter. Amino Acids 39:89–99
Zhang LY, Zhou YY, Chen F, Wang B, Li J, Deng YW, Liu WD, Wang ZG, Li YW, Li DZ, Lv GH, Yin BL (2011) Taurine inhibits serum deprivation-induced osteoblast apoptosis via the taurine transporter/ERK signaling pathway. Braz J Med Biol Res 44:618–623
Zhou C, Zhang X, Xu L, Wu T, Cui L, Xu D (2014) Taurine promotes human mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into osteoblast through the ERK pathway. Amino Acids 46:1673–1680
We acknowledge Elina Reinikainen and Eija Rahunen for their excellent laboratory assistance. This study was supported by grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, North Savo Regional Fund.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
About this article
Cite this article
Karjalainen, H.M., Qu, C., Leskelä, S.S. et al. Chondrocytic cells express the taurine transporter on their plasma membrane and regulate its expression under anisotonic conditions. Amino Acids 47, 561–570 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-014-1888-7
- Taurine transporter
- Human chondrosarcoma
- Chondrocytic cell
- Cell stretching