Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (MS)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Judith D. Ochrietor

Second Advisor

Dr. Jim Gelsleichter

Third Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Stotz-Potter

Department Chair

Dr. Cliff Ross

College Dean

Dr. George Rainbolt


Although it was once thought that neurons solely rely on glucose as a substrate for cellular energy production, it is now known that small monocarboxylate molecules, like pyruvate, lactate, and ketone bodies, are also utilized. Monocarboxylates are transported across plasma membranes via facilitated diffusion using a family of transport proteins known as monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs). Four MCTs (MCT1, MCT2, MCT3, and MCT4) are expressed within neural tissues. Expression of the MCTs has been tied to co-expression of a cell adhesion molecule belonging to the Basigin subset of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF). Basigin gene products are known to interact with MCT1 and MCT4 in the mammalian neural retina and this association is essential to support the cellular energy needs of photoreceptors. A previous study indicated that Basigin gene products use hydrophobic amino acids within specific regions of the transmembrane domain to interact with MCT1. In the present study, it is hypothesized that the same amino acids within the transmembrane domain are used to interact with MCT4, but that no association exists with MCT2, which typically interacts with a different member of the IgSF subset. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to assess the association between Basigin gene products and MCT4, and with MCT2. Recombinant proteins corresponding to the transmembrane domain of Basigin gene products were used in in vitro binding assays with endogenous MCT2 and MCT4 from mouse brain protein lysates. Contrary to the hypothesis, it was determined that the transmembrane domain of Basigin gene products binds to both MCT2 and MCT4 in vitro. Different amino acids within the transmembrane domain of Basigin gene products are used for each association and the pattern is different from that used in the association with MCT1. The data suggest that Basigin plays multiple roles in the nervous system.