The efflux of biotin from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Janos Zempleni, Donald M. Mock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PMBCs) are readily available for sampling and are a useful model for studying biotin metabolism in human cells. To better understand biotin handling by PMBCs, we investigated the mechanism(s) and kinetics of biotin efflux from PMBCs. Human PMBCs were incubated with [3H]biotin at 475 pmol/L to load the cells. The [3H]biotin-loaded cells were then harvested and incubated in [3H]biotin-free media for lip to 20 hours. At various intervals, aliquots of the PMBC suspensions were collected and analyzed for intracellular [3H]biotin. [3H]Biotin efflux from cells at 37°C was fast and triphasic; the half-lives for the three elimination phases were 0.2 ± 0.02 hours, 1.2 ± 0.1 hours, and 21.9 ± 13.6 hours. Such a triphasic [3H]biotin efflux could reflect (1) rapid efflux of free biotin, (2) slower release of biotin bound to intracellular molecules, and (3) even slower release from carboxylases in cellular organelles. Incubation at 4°C rather than 37°C increased the [3H]biotin retained at 20 hours from 27% to 85%. This observation is consistent with transporter-mediated efflux. When cellular glucose utilization was reduced by 2-deoxy-D-glucose and sodium fluoride, [3H]biotin efflux was similar to controls, suggesting that biotin efflux does not directly require metabolic energy. When [3H]biotin-loaded cells were incubated in external medium containing unlabeled biotin analogs, [3H]biotin efflux was accelerated approximately two times compared with incubation in a biotin-free medium. This observation suggests that biotin efflux is mediated by the same transporter that mediates biotin uptake from the extracellular medium (i.e., classic countertransport).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-109
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Biotin
  • Efflux
  • Half-lives
  • Peripheral blood mononuclear cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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