The SLC transporter in nutrient and metabolic sensing, regulation, and drug development.
ABSTRACT: The prevalence of metabolic diseases is growing worldwide. Accumulating evidence suggests that solute carrier (SLC) transporters contribute to the etiology of various metabolic diseases. Consistent with metabolic characteristics, the top five organs in which SLC transporters are highly expressed are the kidney, brain, liver, gut, and heart. We aim to understand the molecular mechanisms of important SLC transporter-mediated physiological processes and their potentials as drug targets. SLC transporters serve as 'metabolic gate' of cells and mediate the transport of a wide range of essential nutrients and metabolites such as glucose, amino acids, vitamins, neurotransmitters, and inorganic/metal ions. Gene-modified animal models have demonstrated that SLC transporters participate in many important physiological functions including nutrient supply, metabolic transformation, energy homeostasis, tissue development, oxidative stress, host defense, and neurological regulation. Furthermore, the human genomic studies have identified that SLC transporters are susceptible or causative genes in various diseases like cancer, metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, immunological disorders, and neurological dysfunction. Importantly, a number of SLC transporters have been successfully targeted for drug developments. This review will focus on the current understanding of SLCs in regulating physiology, nutrient sensing and uptake, and risk of diseases.
Project description:Membrane-bound solute carriers (SLCs) are essential as they maintain several physiological functions, such as nutrient uptake, ion transport and waste removal. The SLC family comprise about 400 transporters, and we have identified two new putative family members, major facilitator superfamily domain containing 1 (MFSD1) and 3 (MFSD3). They cluster phylogenetically with SLCs of MFS type, and both proteins are conserved in chordates, while MFSD1 is also found in fruit fly. Based on homology modelling, we predict 12 transmembrane regions, a common feature for MFS transporters. The genes are expressed in abundance in mice, with specific protein staining along the plasma membrane in neurons. Depriving mouse embryonic primary cortex cells of amino acids resulted in upregulation of Mfsd1, whereas Mfsd3 is unaltered. Furthermore, in vivo, Mfsd1 and Mfsd3 are downregulated in anterior brain sections in mice subjected to starvation, while upregulated specifically in brainstem. Mfsd3 is also attenuated in cerebellum after starvation. In mice raised on high-fat diet, Mfsd1 was specifically downregulated in brainstem and hypothalamus, while Mfsd3 was reduced consistently throughout the brain.
Project description:There are over 420 human solute carrier (SLC) transporters from 65 families that are expressed ubiquitously in the body. The SLCs mediate the movement of ions, drugs, and metabolites across membranes and their dysfunction has been associated with a variety of diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Thus, SLCs are emerging as important targets for therapeutic intervention. Recent technological advances in experimental and computational biology allow better characterization of SLC pharmacology. Here we describe recent approaches to modulate SLC transporter function, with an emphasis on the use of computational approaches and computer-aided drug design (CADD) to study nutrient transporters. Finally, we discuss future perspectives in the rational design of SLC drugs.
Project description:Solute carrier (SLC) transporters - a family of more than 300 membrane-bound proteins that facilitate the transport of a wide array of substrates across biological membranes - have important roles in physiological processes ranging from the cellular uptake of nutrients to the absorption of drugs and other xenobiotics. Several classes of marketed drugs target well-known SLC transporters, such as neurotransmitter transporters, and human genetic studies have provided powerful insight into the roles of more-recently characterized SLC transporters in both rare and common diseases, indicating a wealth of new therapeutic opportunities. This Review summarizes knowledge on the roles of SLC transporters in human disease, describes strategies to target such transporters, and highlights current and investigational drugs that modulate SLC transporters, as well as promising drug targets.
Project description:The field of transport biology has steadily grown over the past decade and is now recognized as playing an important role in manifestation and treatment of disease. The SLC (solute carrier) gene series has grown to now include 52 families and 395 transporter genes in the human genome. A list of these genes can be found at the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) website (see www.genenames.org/genefamilies/SLC). This special issue features mini-reviews for each of these SLC families written by the experts in each field. The existing online resource for solute carriers, the Bioparadigms SLC Tables (www.bioparadigms.org), has been updated and significantly extended with additional information and cross-links to other relevant databases, and the nomenclature used in this database has been validated and approved by the HGNC. In addition, the Bioparadigms SLC Tables functionality has been improved to allow easier access by the scientific community. This introduction includes: an overview of all known SLC and "non-SLC" transporter genes; a list of transporters of water soluble vitamins; a summary of recent progress in the structure determination of transporters (including GLUT1/SLC2A1); roles of transporters in human diseases and roles in drug approval and pharmaceutical perspectives.
Project description:Out of the 430 known solute carriers (SLC) in humans, 30% are still orphan transporters regarding structure, distribution or function. Approximately one third of all SLCs belong to the evolutionary conserved and functionally diverse Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS). Here, we studied the orphan proteins, MFSD4A and MFSD9, which are atypical SLCs of MFS type. Hidden Markov Models were used to identify orthologues in several vertebrates, and human MFSD4A and MFSD9 share high sequence identity with their identified orthologues. MFSD4A and MFSD9 also shared more than 20% sequence identity with other phylogenetically related SLC and MFSD proteins, allowing new family clustering. Homology models displayed 12 transmembrane segments for both proteins, which were predicted to fold into a transporter-shaped structure. Furthermore, we analysed the location of MFSD4A and MFSD9 in adult mouse brain using immunohistochemistry, showing abundant neuronal protein staining. As MFSD4A and MFSD9 are plausible transporters expressed in food regulatory brain areas, we monitored transcriptional changes in several mouse brain areas after 24 hours food-deprivation and eight weeks of high-fat diet, showing that both genes were affected by altered food intake in vivo. In conclusion, we propose MFSD4A and MFSD9 to be novel transporters, belonging to disparate SLC families. Both proteins were located to neurons in mouse brain, and their mRNA expression levels were affected by the diet.
Project description:Acquisition of nutrients during intra-vacuolar growth of L. pneumophila within macrophages or amoebae is poorly understood. Since many genes of L. pneumophila are acquired by inter-kingdom horizontal gene transfer from eukaryotic hosts, we examined the presence of human solute carrier (SLC)-like transporters in the L. pneumophila genome using I-TASSER to assess structural alignments. We identified 11 SLC-like putative transporters in L. pneumophila that are structurally similar to SLCs, eight of which are amino acid transporters, and one is a tricarboxylate transporter. The two other transporters, LstA and LstB, are structurally similar to the human glucose transporter, SLC2a1/Glut1. Single mutants of lstA or lstB have decreased ability to import, while the lstA/lstB double mutant is severely defective for uptake of glucose. While lstA or lstB single mutants are not defective in intracellular proliferation within Acanthamoeba polyphaga and human monocyte-derived macrophages, the lstA/lstB double mutant is severely defective in both host cells. The two phenotypic defects of the lstA/lstB double mutant in uptake of glucose and intracellular replication are both restored upon complementation of either lstA or lstB. Our data show that the two glucose transporters, LstA and LstB, are redundant and are required for intracellular replication within human macrophages and amoebae.
Project description:Amino acids are known to play a key role in gene expression regulation, and in mammalian cells, amino acid signaling is mainly mediated via two pathways, the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway and the amino acid responsive (AAR) pathway. It is vital for cells to have a system to sense amino acid levels, in order to control protein and amino acid synthesis and catabolism. Amino acid transporters are crucial in these pathways, due to both their sensing and transport functions. In this large-scale study, an immortalized mouse hypothalamic cell line (N25/2) was used to study the gene expression changes following 1, 2, 3, 5 or 16 h of amino acid starvation. We focused on genes encoding solute carriers (SLCs) and putative SLCs, more specifically on amino acid transporters. The microarray contained 28 270 genes and 86.2% of the genes were expressed in the cell line. At 5 h of starvation, 1001 genes were upregulated and 848 genes were downregulated, and among these, 47 genes from the SLC superfamily or atypical SLCs were found. Of these, 15 were genes encoding amino acid transporters and 32 were genes encoding other SLCs or atypical SLCs. Increased expression was detected for genes encoding amino acid transporters from system A, ASC, L, N, T, xc-, and y+. Using GO annotations, genes involved in amino acid transport and amino acid transmembrane transporter activity were found to be most upregulated at 3 h and 5 h of starvation.
Project description:The human solute carrier (SLC) superfamily of transporters is comprised of over 400 membrane-bound proteins, and plays essential roles in a multitude of physiological and pharmacological processes. In addition, perturbation of SLC transporter function underlies numerous human diseases, which renders SLC transporters attractive drug targets. Common genetic polymorphisms in SLC genes have been associated with inter-individual differences in drug efficacy and toxicity. However, despite their tremendous clinical relevance, epidemiological data of these variants are mostly derived from heterogeneous cohorts of small sample size and the genetic SLC landscape beyond these common variants has not been comprehensively assessed. In this study, we analyzed Next-Generation Sequencing data from 141,456 individuals from seven major human populations to evaluate genetic variability, its functional consequences, and ethnogeographic patterns across the entire SLC superfamily of transporters. Importantly, of the 204,287 exonic single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) which we identified, 99.8% were present in less than 1% of analyzed alleles. Comprehensive computational analyses using 13 partially orthogonal algorithms that predict the functional impact of genetic variations based on sequence information, evolutionary conservation, structural considerations, and functional genomics data revealed that each individual genome harbors 29.7 variants with putative functional effects, of which rare variants account for 18%. Inter-ethnic variability was found to be extensive, and 83% of deleterious SLC variants were only identified in a single population. Interestingly, population-specific carrier frequencies of loss-of-function variants in SLC genes associated with recessive Mendelian disease recapitulated the ethnogeographic variation of the corresponding disorders, including cystinuria in Jewish individuals, type II citrullinemia in East Asians, and lysinuric protein intolerance in Finns, thus providing a powerful resource for clinical geneticists to inform about population-specific prevalence and allelic composition of Mendelian SLC diseases. In summary, we present the most comprehensive data set of SLC variability published to date, which can provide insights into inter-individual differences in SLC transporter function and guide the optimization of population-specific genotyping strategies in the bourgeoning fields of personalized medicine and precision public health.
Project description:With more than 450 members, the solute carrier (SLC) group of proteins represents the largest class of transporters encoded in the human genome. Their several-pass transmembrane domain structure and hydrophobicity contribute to the orphan status of many SLCs, devoid of known cargos or chemical inhibitors. We report that SLC proteins belonging to different families and subcellular compartments are amenable to induced degradation by heterobifunctional ligands. Engineering endogenous alleles via the degradation tag (dTAG) technology enabled chemical control of abundance of the transporter protein, SLC38A2. Moreover, we report the design of d9A-2, a chimeric compound engaging several members of the SLC9 family and leading to their degradation. d9A-2 impairs cellular pH homeostasis and promotes cell death in a range of cancer cell lines. These findings open the era of SLC-targeting chimeric degraders and demonstrate potential access of multi-pass transmembrane proteins of different subcellular localizations to the chemically exploitable degradation machinery.
Project description:The solute-carrier gene (SLC) superfamily encodes membrane-bound transporters. The SLC superfamily comprises 55 gene families having at least 362 putatively functional protein-coding genes. The gene products include passive transporters, symporters and antiporters, located in all cellular and organelle membranes, except, perhaps, the nuclear membrane. Transport substrates include amino acids and oligopeptides, glucose and other sugars, inorganic cations and anions (H(+), HCO(3)(-), Cl(-), Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), PO(4)(3-), HPO(4)(2-), H(2)PO(4)(-), SO(4)(2-), C(2)O(4)(2-), OH(-), CO(3)(2-)), bile salts, carboxylate and other organic anions, acetyl coenzyme A, essential metals, biogenic amines, neurotransmitters, vitamins, fatty acids and lipids, nucleosides, ammonium, choline, thyroid hormone and urea. Contrary to gene nomenclature commonly assigned on the basis of evolutionary divergence (http://www.genenames.org/), the SLC gene superfamily has been named based largely on transporter function by proteins having multiple transmembrane domains. Whereas all the transporters exist for endogenous substrates, it is likely that drugs, non-essential metals and many other environmental toxicants are able to 'hitch-hike' on one or another of these transporters, thereby enabling these moieties to enter (or leave) the cell. Understanding and characterising the functions of these transporters is relevant to medicine, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology and cancer chemotherapy.