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Unlocking the Solute Carrier Gene-Family for Effective New Therapies (Unlock SLCs)


This topic aims to unlock the therapeutic potential within the SLC gene family by overcoming many of the technical barriers that have hindered their study and prevented their exploitation as drug targets by generating research tools and by making them freely available to the scientific community.

The healthy functioning of living cells requires strict control over the import and export of ions, metabolites and nutrients across membranes. Highly regulated transport proteins fulfil this role, and it has been estimated that ~10% of the human genome is linked to membrane transport. The solute carrier (SLC) family is the largest class of such proteins (~400 members), and SLCs play vital roles across practically all cell types in all tissues. The importance of SLCs in disease can be illustrated by human genetic data which suggest that roughly 50% of SLCs are associated with a human disease-related phenotype compared to a rate of only ~20% for the broader human genome. A significant barrier to the study of SLCs is gaining access to relevant reagents and cell systems in which they are expressed

If these reagents become available it will lead to an acceleration in the discovery of effective new medicines for patients suffering from a range of diseases, to the benefit of society at large

  • New open access research tools, techniques, reagents, and knowledge to the biomedical research community that will rapidly accelerate the pace of research in the field of SLCs. These advances are expected to impact both basic research and drug discovery alike.
  • The discovery of new drug targets. Since SLCs are expressed in practically all cell types across all tissues, their therapeutic potential spans many disease areas, including, oncology, immunology, neurosciences, metabolism and cardiovascular diseases.
  • This project will benefit patients and society through the accelerated discovery of new drugs targeting SLCs which will provide effective therapies for broad range of diseases..