Transporter-mediated Targeted Drug Delivery

Endogenous solute carriers (SLCs) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) proteins transport essential substrates, such as nutrients, hormones, neurotransmitters, metabolites, and drugs across the cell membranes and therefore, have a crucial role in substances’ distribution and disposition in the body. These transporters can also be utilized to enhance drug delivery and target drugs to specific organs, cells or cell organelles. Moreover, if transporter function or expression can be modulated in specific cells, the drug efficacy and safety could be greatly improved.

Our research group is developing novel transporter-utilizing (pro)drugs to:

  1. Improve the drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and selectively into different cell types (neurons, astrocytes or microglia) within brain (intra-brain targeting) via different transporters
  2. Explore if dual targeting of LAT1-utilizing compounds into the brain and simultaneously into the pancreas (brain-pancreas axis) can have beneficial effects on the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
  3. Target chemotherapeutics (prodrugs or drug analogues) selectively into the cancer cells and inhibit specific transporter’s function to block nutrient delivery into the cancer cell or drug efflux out of the cancer cells (chemoresistance) to increase antiproliferative effects

We are also interested in how to modulate specific transporter’s expression or function to regulate nutrient or toxin uptake e.g., into the brain that can affect the progession of neurological diseases, or into specific cells, like cancer cells

In our research group we focus on the journey of lifelong learning, although the scientific road can be a daily roll-a-coaster.

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