Transporters are membrane proteins whose primary function is to facilitate the flux of molecules, like nutrients or endogenous substrates (e.g. sugar, amino acids, nucleotides) into and out of cells.
However, the specificity of these transporters is not strictly restricted to these physiological substrates. Drugs that bear significantly structural similarity to the physiological substrates have the potential to be recognized and transported by these transporters.
Consequently, these transporters play key roles in determining the bioavailability, therapeutic efficacy, and pharmacokinetics of a variety of drugs.
According to FDA/EMA guidelines (see below) PortaCellTec biosciences provide transporter assays, to proof the interaction of drugs and their metabolites with selected cellular transporter proteins, which facilitate the flux of molecules into cells (SLC-family transporters).
The International Transporter Consortium - Membrane transporters in drug development: the full report from the International Transporter Consortium, March 2010, is available from Nature Reviews
In 2010 the International Transporter Consortium (ITC) published a review titled Membrane transporters in drug development in which is defined which transporters are clinically relevant and have to be investigated under drug development. In the same year the EMA published a guideline for investigation of clinically relevant transporters. These relevant transporters are listed in the following table.