Transport of drugs in the kidney by the human organic cation transporter, OCT2 and its genetic variants

J Pharm Sci. 2006 Jan;95(1):25-36. doi: 10.1002/jps.20536.


The human organic cation transporter 2 (OCT2, SLC22A2) is a multispecific transporter of organic cations, including many clinically used drugs. OCT2 is primarily responsible for the uptake of organic cations across the basolateral membrane of renal tubular epithelial cells and is considered a major transporter in the active secretion of organic cations in the kidney. Uptake of organic cations by OCT2 is driven by the inside-negative membrane potential and is pH-sensitive. Regulation of OCT2 at the transcriptional level by steroid hormones and at the protein level by various protein kinases has been described. Several human genetic variants in the coding region of OCT2 have been identified and functionally characterized, including both polymorphic and rare variants. A variety of structurally diverse compounds have been shown to interact with OCT2, including endogenous compounds, drugs, and dietary supplements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Organic Cation Transporter 2
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*


  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins
  • Organic Cation Transporter 2
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • SLC22A2 protein, human