The kidney plays an important role in the secretion of organic compounds including drugs, toxins and endogeneous metabolites. The renal elimination process of organic cations is mediated by two distinct transport systems expressed on the apical and basolateral membrane of proximal epithelial cells. In 2005, mammalian multidrug and toxin extrusion 1 (MATE1)/SLC47A1 was identified as an orthologue of bacterial NorM. MATE1 is the H(+)/organic cation antiporter at the apical membrane, which mediates the secretion of organic cations. Kidney-specific MATE2-K was isolated from human kidney and localized at the brush-border membrane of proximal tubules. Like MATE1, MATE2-K mediates the secretion of organic cations into urine. MATE1 and MATE2-K are involved in the excretion of important medications and the disruption of these transporters can cause severe pharmacological problems. Recent findings regarding the MATE/SLC47 family are summarized in this review.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.