Insights into solute carriers: physiological functions and implications in disease and pharmacokinetics†
A major revision of the importance of solute carrier (SLC) transporters in human physiology and pathology has taken place in recent years. SLCs comprise the largest family of transporters, and there is significant evidence of their implication in health and several pathologies, leading to a growing interest in these transporters as novel targets for drug discovery. Since SLCs transport a broad range of endogenous and exogenous compounds, including drugs, they are the basis of significant drug–drug interactions and can cause potential drug toxicity or a lack of efficacy. This review compiles the up-to-date knowledge on the natural occurrence of the principal SLC families in human organs and tissues, in particular, highlighting their biological function and dysfunction in disease. Moreover, SLC implications in pharmacokinetics and drug–drug interactions are reviewed, concepts that can be useful in drug design.