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Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2006 Mar;372(6):413-31. Epub 2006 Mar 16.

The solute carrier family SLC10: more than a family of bile acid transporters regarding function and phylogenetic relationships.

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  • 1Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Frankfurter Strasse 107, 35392, Giessen, Germany.


The solute carrier family 10 (SLC10) comprises two sodium-dependent bile acid transporters, i.e. the Na(+)/taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP; SLC10A1) and the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT; SLC10A2). These carriers are essentially involved in the maintenance of the enterohepatic circulation of bile acids mediating the first step of active bile acid transport through the membrane barriers in the liver (NTCP) and intestine (ASBT). Recently, four new members of the SLC10 family were described and referred to as P3 (SLC10A3), P4 (SLC10A4), P5 (SLC10A5) and sodium-dependent organic anion transporter (SOAT; SLC10A6). Experimental data supporting carrier function of P3, P4, and P5 is currently not available. However, as demonstrated for SOAT, not all members of the SLC10 family are bile acid transporters. SOAT specifically transports steroid sulfates such as oestrone-3-sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in a sodium-dependent manner, and is considered to play an important role for the cellular delivery of these prohormones in testes, placenta, adrenal gland and probably other peripheral tissues. ASBT and SOAT are the most homologous members of the SLC10 family, with high sequence similarity ( approximately 70%) and almost identical gene structures. Phylogenetic analyses of the SLC10 family revealed that ASBT and SOAT genes emerged from a common ancestor gene. Structure-activity relationships of NTCP, ASBT and SOAT are discussed at the amino acid sequence level. Based on the high structural homology between ASBT and SOAT, pharmacological inhibitors of the ASBT, which are currently being tested in clinical trials for cholesterol-lowering therapy, should be evaluated for their cross-reactivity with SOAT.

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