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[Online ahead of print]

The Druggability of Solute Carriers

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The Druggability of Solute Carriers

Wesley Wei Wang et al. J Med Chem.

Abstract

The transport of materials across membranes is a vital process for all aspects of cellular function, including growth, metabolism, and communication. Protein transporters are the molecular gates that control this movement and serve as key points of regulation for these processes, thus representing an attractive class of therapeutic targets. With more than 400 members, the solute carrier (SLC) membrane transport proteins are the largest family of transporters, yet, they are pharmacologically underexploited relative to other protein families and many of the available chemical tools possess suboptimal selectivity and efficacy. Fortuitously, there is increased interest in elucidating the physiological roles of SLCs as well as growing recognition of their therapeutic potential. This Perspective provides an overview of the SLC superfamily, including their biochemical and functional features, as well as their roles in various human diseases. In particular, we explore efforts and associated challenges toward drugging SLCs, as well as highlight opportunities for future drug discovery.

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