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Histol Histopathol. 2009 Feb;24(2):243-64.

Monocarboxylate transporters: past, present, and future.

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  • 1Division of Environmental Toxicology, Environmental and Infectious Disease Sciences Department, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA. merezhin@afip.osd.mil


We review here the 14 members of the Monocarboxylate transporter family (MCTs), their relationship based on sequence homology. The range of substrates transported by different members of this family extends from the standard monocarboxylate metabolites, lactic and pyruvic acids, to aromatic amino acids and thyroid hormones. The family is denoted Solute Carrier Family 16, or SLC16, among 43 SLC families constituting more than 300 members, which are annotated regularly at the website http://www.bioparadigms.org/slc/intro.htm. MCTs classically transport metabolites across plasma membranes with direction controlled by proton and metabolite concentrations independently of energy input, but they may also function in subcellular membranes. Their regulation may be complex, and they are implicated in leukocyte-mediated immunity, hypoxia induced cellular responses, and partitioning of the energy supply in several tissues. We focus here on histologic evidence (involving human tissue where available) and the first four 'classical' members; but we do annotate all 14, and note several candidate or proven genetic diseases that have arisen from MCT mutations. The review progresses through the following sections: (1) MCT1-4: genetics, kinetics, and modulation; (2) Chaperonins and targeting cofactors; (3) Tissue distribution of MCTs; (4) Intercellular lactate/pyruvate shuttles; (5) Transcriptional and translational regulation of MCTs; (6) Properties of other MCTs; and (7) Subcellular localization of MCTs and some future considerations. Along the way we posit questions or suggestions for future research.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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