Sodium-dependent bile salt transporters of the SLC10A transporter family: more than solute transporters

Pflugers Arch. 2014 Jan;466(1):77-89. doi: 10.1007/s00424-013-1367-0. Epub 2013 Oct 3.


The SLC10A transporter gene family consists of seven members and substrates transported by three members (SLC10A1, SLC10A2 and SLC10A6) are Na(+)-dependent. SLC10A1 (sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide [NTCP]) and SLC10A2 (apical sodium-dependent bile salt transporter [ASBT]) transport bile salts and play an important role in maintaining enterohepatic circulation of bile salts. Solutes other than bile salts are also transported by NTCP. However, ASBT has not been shown to be a transporter for non-bile salt substrates. While the transport function of NTCP can potentially be used as liver function test, interpretation of such a test may be complicated by altered expression of NTCP in diseases and presence of drugs that may inhibit NTCP function. Transport of bile salts by NTCP and ASBT is inhibited by a number of drugs and it appears that ASBT is more permissive to drug inhibition than NTCP. The clinical significance of this inhibition in drug disposition and drug-drug interaction remains to be determined. Both NCTP and ASBT undergo post-translational regulations that involve phosphorylation/dephosphorylation, translocation to and retrieval from the plasma membrane and degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. These posttranslational regulations are mediated via signaling pathways involving cAMP, calcium, nitric oxide, phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase C (PKC) and protein phosphatases. There appears to be species difference in the substrate specificity and the regulation of plasma membrane localization of human and rodent NTCP. These differences should be taken into account when extrapolating rodent data for human clinical relevance and developing novel therapies. NTCP has recently been shown to play an important role in HBV and HDV infection by serving as a receptor for entry of these viruses into hepatocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Dependent / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Dependent / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport
  • Sodium / metabolism
  • Symporters / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Symporters / metabolism*


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Organic Anion Transporters, Sodium-Dependent
  • Symporters
  • sodium-bile acid cotransporter
  • Sodium