Biotin uptake, utilization, and efflux in normal and biotin-deficient rat hepatocytes

Debra Weiner, Barry Wolf*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Biotin uptake, utilization, and efflux were studied in normal and biotin-deficient cultured rat hepatocytes. Biotin-deficient cells accumulate about 16-fold more biotin than do normal cells when incubated with a physiological concentration of biotin for 24 h. This difference is due to the greater amount of protein-bound biotin relative to free biotin in biotin-deficient hepatocytes, and is attributable to the presence of more apocarboxylases in deficient cells. The rate of biotin uptake and the rate of activation of the carboxylases, acetyl-CoA carboxylase, pyruvate carboxylase, propionyl-CoA carboxylase, and β-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase, are proportional to the concentration of exogenous biotin. Increases in carboxylase activities are proportional to the concentration of biotin only at exogenous biotin concentrations of <410 nm. Concentrations of 410 nm or more biotin increase carboxylase activities to normal or near normal. Biocytin inhibits biotin uptake at very high concentrations, whereas desthiobiotin and lipoic acid have no effect. Biocytin in the medium results in carboxylase activation either intracellularly or extracellularly by conversion to biotin by biotinidase. Investigation of the efflux of biotin from normal and biotin-deficient cells preincubated with the vitamin showed greater retention of biotin by biotin-deficient cells than by normal cells over 24 h. Retention of free biotin is similar in biotin-deficient and normal cells. The greater amount of biotin retained by biotin-deficient cells is accounted for by the greater amount of bound biotin in these cells. These results suggest that the free and bound biotin pools are independently regulated. The ready loss of free biotin from these cells has implications for the treatment of inherited, biotin-responsive carboxylase deficiencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-363
Number of pages20
JournalBiochemical Medicine and Metabolic Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry


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