Transporters and renal drug elimination

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2004:44:137-66. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.44.101802.121856.


Carrier-mediated processes, often referred to as transporters, play key roles in the reabsorption and secretion of many endogenous and xenobiotic compounds by the kidney. The renal proximal tubule is the primary site of active transport for a wide variety of substrates, including organic anions/cations, peptides, and nucleosides. During the past decade, significant advances in molecular identification and characterization of transporter proteins have been made. Although it is generally noted that these transporters significantly contribute to renal drug handling and variability in drug disposition, the extent of our knowledge regarding the specific roles of such transporters in drug disposition and drug-drug interactions remains, for the most part, limited. In this review, we summarize recent progress in terms of molecular and functional characterization of renal transporters and their clinical relevance to drug therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / physiology
  • Nucleosides / metabolism
  • Organic Anion Transporters / metabolism
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins / metabolism
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Pharmacokinetics*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Nucleosides
  • Organic Anion Transporters
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations