The Blood-Brain Barrier Choline Transporter

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeast Ohio Medical University, 4209 State Route 44, Rootstown, OH 44272, USA.
Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry(Formerly Current Medicinal Chemistry - Central Nervous System Agents) 04/2012; 12(2):95-9. DOI: 10.2174/187152412800792670
Source: PubMed


Drug delivery to the brain is made difficult by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) which is selectively permeable to organic drug compounds. Several membrane solute and nutrient transporters are expressed in the BBB vasculature, which may be utilized as mechanism of delivery of drugs to the brain. Of interest to us, are the organic cation transporters which could be used to transport cationic compounds into the CNS. In this mini-review, we will review the current understanding of the structural requirements for designing compounds which could effectively use organic cation transporters (OCT). For the first time, structural requirements for both OCT1 and OCT2 versus the BBB choline transporter (BBBCHT) are discussed and compared. The information gained here could increase the success rate in successful CNS drug delivery and therapeutics.

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    ABSTRACT: A recent paper in this journal sought to counter evidence for the role of transport proteins in affecting drug uptake into cells, and questions that transporters can recognize drug molecules in addition to their endogenous substrates. However, there is abundant evidence that both drugs and proteins are highly promiscuous. Most proteins bind to many drugs and most drugs bind to multiple proteins (on average more than six), including transporters (mutations in these can determine resistance); most drugs are known to recognise at least one transporter. In this response, we alert readers to the relevant evidence that exists or is required. This needs to be acquired in cells that contain the relevant proteins, and we highlight an experimental system for simultaneous genome-wide assessment of carrier-mediated uptake in a eukaryotic cell (yeast).
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