Background: the SLC52A2 gene encodes for the riboflavin transporter 2 (RFVT2). This transporter is ubiquitously expressed. It mediates the transport of Riboflavin across cell membranes. Riboflavin plays a crucial role in cells since its biologically active forms, FMN and FAD, are essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and lipids. Mutation of the Riboflavin transporters is a risk factor for anemia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration. Inborn mutations of SLC52A2 are associated with Brown-Vialetto-van Laere syndrome, a rare neurological disorder characterized by infancy onset. In spite of the important metabolic and physio/pathological role of this transporter few data are available on its function and regulation. Methods: the human recombinant RFVT2 has been overexpressed in E. coli, purified and reconstituted into proteoliposomes in order to characterize its activity following the [3H]Riboflavin transport. Results: the recombinant hRFVT2 showed a Km of 0.26 ± 0.07 µM and was inhibited by lumiflavin, FMN and Mg2+. The Riboflavin uptake was also regulated by Ca2+. The native protein extracted from fibroblast and reconstituted in proteoliposomes also showed inhibition by FMN and lumiflavin. Conclusions: proteoliposomes represent a suitable model to assay the RFVT2 function. It will be useful for screening the mutation of RFVT2.
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