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A symporter is an integral membrane protein that is involved in movement of two or more different molecules or ions across a phospholipid membrane such as the plasma membrane in the same direction, and is therefore a type of cotransporter. Typically, the ion(s) will move down the electrochemical gradient, allowing the other molecule(s) to move against the concentration gradient. The movement of the ion(s) across the membrane is facilitated diffusion, and is coupled with the active transport of the molecule(s). It should be noted that although two or more types of molecule are transported, there may be several molecules transported of each type.


SGLT1 in the intestinal epithelium transports sodium ions (Na+) and glucose across luminal membrane of the epithelial cells so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This is the basis of oral rehydration therapy.

Na+/K+/2Cl- symporter in the loop of Henle in the renal tubules of the kidney transports 4 molecules of 3 different types; a sodium ion (Na+), a potassium ion (K+) and two chloride ions (2Cl-). Loop diuretics such as furosemide (Lasix) act on this protein.

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