Membrane Transporters: Solute Carriers themed issue launched

MedChemComm is delighted to announce a high-profile themed issue on Membrane Transporters, focussing on solute carriers (SLCs). The Guest Editors for this issue are Professor Matthias A. Hediger (University of Bern, Switzerland) and Dr David Hepworth (Pfizer, Cambridge, USA).

Deadline for Submission: December 14 2015

Please e-mail the Editorial Office if you are interested in contributing an article.

Manuscripts can be submitted using the Royal Society of Chemistry’s online article submission service. Please clearly state that the manuscript is submitted for the themed issue on Membrane Transporters: Solute Carriers.

The level of quality of this issue will be high, and all manuscripts will undergo the journal’s normal peer review process.


Metabolic homeostasis within cells requires strict control over the import and export of metabolites, nutrients and ions across membranes. Polar chemical species such as these have negligible ability to cross phospholipid membranes by simple diffusion and instead require highly regulated transport proteins to control their movement. The largest class of transport proteins is the solute carrier series ( and it is on this superfamily that this special issue of MedChemComm will focus.

These proteins are of great interest for basic academic research, but beyond that they are of central importance in a number of areas of applied science: as drug targets, as controllers of drug disposition and pharmacokinetics, and as the cause of drug toxicity.

Known SLC drug targets include:

  • The monoamine transporter family which contains the serotonin transporter (SLC6A4) target of the highly important SSRI drug class
  • SLC5A2 (SGLT2), an important new anti-diabetic target to block renal glucose reabsorption
  • Sodium chloride transporters (SLC12 family) – the targets of loop and thiazide diuretics

SLCs important in drug pharmacokinetics and disposition include

  • The OATP (SLCO) and OAT (SLC22) family  of anion transport
  • The OCT (SLC22) family of cation transport
  • The SLC47 multidrug and toxin extrusion family

SLCs important in drug toxicity include the thiamine transporter SLC19A2

All areas of research where the chemical sciences have impacted the study of the SLC superfamily will be considered for inclusion in this themed issue. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Medicinal chemistry and molecular probe design against these target families
  • Chemical biology approaches to allow for detailed study of these protein classes including physiological roles, disease mechanisms, etc.
  • Structural biology and biophysics of integral membrane proteins as relevant to ligand design and/or chemical biology
  • Molecular modelling that has enabled drug and probe design
  • The impact of transporters on drug disposition and pharmacokinetics – with a particular interest in structure activity relationships for such transport
  • The study of toxins and venoms which act through these target classes
  • Novel screening methodologies that allow the identification of new inhibitors, modulators and substrates of this protein class
  • The application of new cell biology techniques such as gene-editing, silencing and haploid genetic approaches that allow the study of chemical agents acting via these target families
  • Systems biology approaches to the study of chemical modulators and substrates of membrane transport proteins

The issue will consist of a series of research articles and reviews from prominent scientists who are committed to applying excellence in ion channels and membrane transporter research toward the treatment of human diseases, combining breakthroughs in both basic science and applied science, such as drug discovery.

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