These days, when we analyze transcriptome data sets from vetebrates, one or other solute carrier gene often comes to the top. If have the same experience and spend a lot of time searching through various databases to find what they do, the following two reviews will come handy. The first author of both papers is Matthias A. Hediger, who is currently at Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland.
One part of the paper you may find very handy is the large table (Table 1) describing solute carrier nomenclature. Solute carrier proteins transport materials inside the cell, and each SLC represents protein family carrying one type of material. For example, SLC48 is the heme transporter and SLC14 family transports urea.
The field of transport biology has steadily grown over the past decade and is now recognized as playing an important role in manifestation and treatment of disease. The SLC (solute carrier) gene series has grown to now include 52 families and 395 transporter genes in the human genome. A list of these genes can be found at the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) website (see www.genenames.org/genefamilies/SLC). This special issue features mini-reviews for each of these SLC families written by the experts in each field. The existing online resource for solute carriers, the Bioparadigms SLC Tables (www.bioparadigms.org), has been updated and significantly extended with additional information and cross-links to other relevant databases, and the nomenclature used in this database has been validated and approved by the HGNC. In addition, the Bioparadigms SLC Tables functionality has been improved to allow easier access by the scientific community. This introduction includes: an overview of all known SLC and non-SLC transporter genes; a list of transporters of water soluble vitamins; a summary of recent progress in the structure determination of transporters (including GLUT1/SLC2A1); roles of transporters in human diseases and roles in drug approval and pharmaceutical perspectives.
The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) Nomenclature Committee Database provides a list of transporter families of the solute carrier (SLC) gene series (see http://www.gene.ucl.ac.uk/nomenclature/). Currently, it includes 43 families and 298 transporter genes. This special issue features mini- reviews on each of these SLC families written by the experts in each field. A WEB site has been established (http://www.pharmaconference.org/slctable.asp) that gives the latest updates for the SLC families and their members as well as relevant links to gene databases and reviews in the literature. A list of all currently known SLC families, a discussion of additional SLC families and family members as well as a brief summary of non-SLC transporter genes is included in this introduction.