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Current Pharmaceutical Design


ISSN (Print): 1381-6128
ISSN (Online): 1873-4286

Review Article

Importance of ABC Transporters in Drug Development

Author(s): Marcel Benadiba and Yehoshua Maor

Volume 22, Issue 38, 2016

Page: [5817 - 5829] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/1381612822666160810120359

Price: $65


ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are a huge family of ATP-dependent transmembrane proteins whose main function is exporting or importing substances or molecules through the cell membranes, plasma cell membrane, or inner membranes in organelles. They fulfill these functions by maintaining cell integrity, metabolism, and homeostasis. They are expressed in a variety of tissues as they transport numerous essential compounds including lipids and other signaling molecules. ABC transporters became widely studied since the discovery of their ability to carry a multitude of xenobiotics, including therapeutic drugs, and in light of the fact that they represent a hurdle for the treatment of resistant cancers. In contrast, the role of ABC transporters in neurological diseases like Alzheimer`s and Parkinson`s, depression, schizophrenia, and epilepsy remains controversial and their mechanism of action in these pathologies remains elusive, thus hindering the implementation of therapies aimed at modulating the functions of these transporters. To date, a number of natural and synthetic compounds are known to act as inhibitors, substrates, and even inducers of these transporters, being able to modulate their expression and/or function; however, their implication as therapeutic agents is far from reaching wide clinical utilization. This review highlights the importance of overcoming the challenges posed by ABC transporters in drug development.

Keywords: ABC transporters, Natural products, Cancer resistance, Blood-brain barrier, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Epilepsy, Drug delivery systems.

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