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1. The monocarboxylate transporter (MCT, SLC16) family comprises 14 members, of which to date only MCT1-4 have been shown to carry monocarboxylates, transporting important metabolic compounds such as lactate, pyruvate and ketone bodies in a proton-coupled manner. The transport of such compounds is fundamental for metabolism, and the tissue locations, properties and regulation of these isoforms is discussed. 2. Of the other members of the MCT family, MCT8 (a thyroid hormone transporter) and TAT1 (an aromatic amino acid transporter) have been characterized more recently, and their physiological roles are reviewed herein. The endogenous substrates and functions of the remaining members of the MCT family await elucidation. 3. The MCT proteins have the typical twelve transmembrane-spanning domain (TMD) topology of membrane transporter proteins, and their structure-function relationship is discussed, especially in relation to the future impact of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) databases and, given their ability to transport pharmacologically relevant compounds, the potential impact for pharmacogenomics.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1072 - 1106


Amino Acid Transport Systems, Neutral, Animals, Biological Transport, Humans, Monocarboxylic Acid Transporters, Multigene Family, Organ Specificity, Pharmacogenetics, Protein Structure, Tertiary