Cancer cells rely on certain extracellular nutrients to sustain their metabolism and growth. Solute carrier (SLC) transporters enable cells to acquire extracellular nutrients or shuttle intracellular nutrients across organelles. However, the function of many SLC transporters in cancer is unknown. Determining the key SLC transporters promoting cancer growth could reveal important therapeutic opportunities. Here we summarize recent findings and knowledge gaps on SLC transporters in cancer. We highlight existing inhibitors for studying these transporters, clinical trials on treating cancer by blocking transporters, and compensatory transporters used by cancer cells to evade treatment. We propose targeting transporters simultaneously or in combination with targeted therapy or immunotherapy as alternative strategies for effective cancer therapy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
ZCN was supported by the Michigan Postdoctoral Pioneer Program at the University of Michigan Medical School, NIH/NCI grant K99CA267176 and NIH/NIGMS grant R25GM143298. MP was supported by NIH/NCI grants R01CA151588 and R01CA198074. CAL was supported by the NIH/NCI grants R37CA237421, R01CA248160, and R01CA244931, and MP and CAL by UMCCC Core Grant (P30CA046592). SEK was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant (2020R1C1C1013220). The funders had no role in the content and publication of this manuscript. The authors apologize to researchers whose relevant work could not be cited in this review due to space limitations.
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research