An overview of MCT1 and MCT4 in GBM: small molecule transporters with large implications

Am J Cancer Res. 2018 Oct 1;8(10):1967-1976. eCollection 2018.


Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) represent a diverse group of transmembrane proteins encoded by the SLC16 gene family found ubiquitously across mammalian species. Two members of this family, MCT1 and MCT4, have been linked to key roles in the metabolic activity of tissues through the proton-coupled transport of monocarboxylates, most notably L-lactate, ketone bodies, and pyruvate. This review aims to provide an overview of MCT1 and MCT4, followed by the implications of their expression in a multitude of cancers and in glioblastoma (GBM) specifically. Further, the possible mechanisms underlying these effects will be discussed. Given the relationships between MCT1 and MCT4 and cancer, they offer a unique opportunity for novel treatment strategies. We aim to explore current therapies focused on MCT1 and MCT4 and propose future studies to better understand their role in GBM to optimize future treatment regimens.

Keywords: MCT1; MCT4; Monocarboxylate transporter; cancer; glioblastoma.

Publication types

  • Review