Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules

2018 Edition
| Editors: Sangdun Choi

Monocarboxylate Transporter (SLC16A)

  • Marilyn E. MorrisEmail author
  • Rutwij A. Dave
  • Kristin E. Follman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67199-4_101724


Historical Background

Until 1974, transport of free acids across plasma membranes of mammalian cells and tissues was thought to occur via nonionic diffusion. Two independent laboratories first reported that facilitated and carrier-mediated transport of lactate and pyruvate into human erythrocytes was strongly inhibited by α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate (CHC) (Halestrap and Denton 1974; Poole and Halestrap 1993) and organomercurials, which are potent and nonspecific inhibitors of a monocarboxylate transporter (MCT) (Deuticke 1982). However, subsequent extensive characterization of MCT in various tissues such as erythrocytes, cardiac myocytes, and hepatocytes led to the conclusion that a family of MCTs might exist, which is currently known as the solute carrier 16A (SLC16A) family with 14 known isoforms to date (Poole and...
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Deuticke B. Monocarboxylate transport in erythrocytes. J Membr Biol. 1982;70(2):89–103.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Garcia CK, Goldstein JL, Pathak RK, Anderson RG, Brown MS. Molecular characterization of a membrane transporter for lactate, pyruvate, and other monocarboxylates: implications for the Cori cycle. Cell. 1994;76(5):865–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Halestrap AP. The monocarboxylate transporter family–Structure and functional characterization. IUBMB Life. 2012;64(1):1–9. doi:10.1002/iub.573.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Halestrap AP. Monocarboxylic acid transport. Compr Physiol. 2013;3(4):1611–43. doi:10.1002/cphy.c130008.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Halestrap AP, Denton RM. Specific inhibition of pyruvate transport in rat liver mitochondria and human erythrocytes by alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate. Biochem J. 1974;138(2):313–6.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Halestrap AP, Meredith D. The SLC16 gene family-from monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) to aromatic amino acid transporters and beyond. Pflugers Arch. 2004;447(5):619–28. doi:10.1007/s00424-003-1067-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Halestrap AP, Wilson MC. The monocarboxylate transporter family – role and regulation. IUBMB Life. 2012;64(2):109–19. doi:10.1002/iub.572.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Kim CM, Goldstein JL, Brown MS. cDNA cloning of MEV, a mutant protein that facilitates cellular uptake of mevalonate, and identification of the point mutation responsible for its gain of function. J Biol Chem. 1992;267(32):23113–21.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Morris ME, Felmlee MA. Overview of the proton-coupled MCT (SLC16A) family of transporters: characterization, function and role in the transport of the drug of abuse gamma-hydroxybutyric acid. AAPS J. 2008;10(2):311–21. doi:10.1208/s12248-008-9035-6.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Pinheiro C, Longatto-Filho A, Azevedo-Silva J, Casal M, Schmitt FC, Baltazar F. Role of monocarboxylate transporters in human cancers: state of the art. J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2012;44:127–39. doi:10.1007/s10863-012-9428-1.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Poole RC, Halestrap AP. Transport of lactate and other monocarboxylates across mammalian plasma membranes. Am J Physiol. 1993;264(4 Pt 1):C761–82.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Vijay N, Morris ME. Role of monocarboxylate transporters in drug delivery to the brain. Curr Pharm Des. 2014;20(10):1487–98.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marilyn E. Morris
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rutwij A. Dave
    • 2
  • Kristin E. Follman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity at Buffalo, State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Preclinical and Translational Pharmacokinetics, Genentech Inc.South San FransiscoUSA