Foreword: from classic bile physiology to cloned transporters

Semin Liver Dis. 2000;20(3):245-50.


Uptake of drugs and metabolites from the circulation into the liver is facilitated by transporter proteins in the basolateral membrane of the hepatocyte. Among these proteins are the sodium taurocholate cotransporting protein, various multispecific transporters for organic anions and cations, transporters for glucose, amino acids, and prostaglandins. The canalicular membrane contains a number of ATP-dependent transporters belonging to the families of P-glycoproteins and multidrug resistance-associated proteins. Transport across the canalicular membrane represents the rate-determining step in the secretion of compounds from blood to bile. Mutations of genes encoding these canalicular transporters are associated with liver diseases such as progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis and Dubin-Johnson syndrome. Wilson's disease appears to be due to a defect of a copper-transporting P-type ATPase. Also, bile ductuli contribute to bile formation. Mutations in the CFTR gene, encoding a chloride channel in bile duct epithelial cells, leads to the hepatic component of cystic fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile / physiology*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology*
  • Clone Cells
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / physiology


  • Carrier Proteins