Nutrients are actively transported into the human body by specific membrane proteins, known as transporter proteins, or solute carrier transporters, that facilitate transport of nutrients and other essential molecules across cell membranes.
Every cell type in the body has solute carrier transporters and expresses specific transporters in unique combination, depending on the tissue type and function. There are hundreds of different transporters in the human body that vary in the types of molecules they recognize and their localization to certain cells and tissue barriers.
In our early scientific work, we profiled the prevalence of hundreds of distinct solute carrier transporters in many human tissue types (including healthy and tumor tissues), cell lines used in assays and tissues in several animal species. We have developed functional assays for approximately 80 of these transporters and engineered drug molecules to create new chemical entities that contain the drug of interest and incorporate chemical features that allow the new molecules to be recognized by specific nutrient transporters.