Study highlights the opportunities and challenges in using amino acid transporters as drug targets. The study published in SLAS Discovery, is authored by Prof. Stefan Broer, Ph.D. of the Australian National University.
Amino Acid Transporters as Disease Modifiers and Drug Targets provides an overview of methods used to identify new inhibitors for amino acid transporters and outlines cell and organ function where these can be used to modulate, prevent or to treat diseases.
The review highlights the demand for better inhibitors of amino acid transport processes and outlines promising new strategies and targets to develop amino acid transporters as drug targets. Cancer cells, for instance, need essential amino acids to proliferate and metastasize. Amino acid transporters are essential for capturing of nutrients from blood vessels, which can be blocked by specific inhibitors.
Amino acids are generated from the breakdown of protein nutrition and are required as nutrients for cell growth, neurotransmission in the brain and cellular metabolism. Blocking some of these functions can treat diseases such as cancer, diabetes and chronic pain.