Iron transport across the skin and gut epithelia of Pacific hagfish: Kinetic characterisation and effect of hypoxia.
Inorganic phosphate (Pi) is an essential nutrient for all organisms, but in seawater, Pi is a limiting nutrient. This study investigated the primary mechanisms of Pi uptake in Pacific hagfish (Eptatretus stoutii) using ex vivo physiological and molecular techniques. Hagfish were observed to have the capacity to absorb Pi from the environment into at least three epithelial surfaces: the intestine, skin, and gill. Pi uptake in all tissues was concentration dependent, and saturable Pi transport was observed in the skin and gill at <2.0 mmol/l Pi. Gill and intestinal Pi uptake was sodium dependent, but Pi uptake into the skin increased under low sodium conditions. Gill Pi transport exhibited an apparent affinity constant ~0.23-0.6 mmol/l Pi. A complete sequence of a type II sodium phosphate cotransporter (Slc34a) was obtained from the hagfish gill. Phylogenetic analysis of the hagfish Slc34a transporter indicates that it is earlier diverging than, and/or ancestral to, the other identified vertebrate Slc34a transporters (Slc34a1, Slc34a2, and Slc34a3). With the use of RT-PCR, the hagfish Slc34a transcript was detected in the intestine, skin, gill, and kidney, suggesting that this may be the transporter involved in Pi uptake into multiple epithelia in the hagfish. This is the first measurement of Pi uptake across the gill or skin of any vertebrate animal and first sodium phosphate cotransporter identified in hagfish.