Professor Simon Newstead, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford
Tuesday 11th December, 1.00 p.m., Stacey Lecture Theatre 1
Research in my laboratory focuses on understanding how nutrient transporters function at a molecular level. In humans many of the transport proteins involved in absorbing nutrients from our diet, such protein, sugar and fats, are also responsible for drug transport and distribution into specific organs, such as the central nervous system, liver and kidneys. Nutrient transporters therefore have a profound impact on the pharmacokinetic properties of many administered drugs with clear medical advantages to understanding their biochemistry. Peptide transporters belong to one such family of integral membrane transporters, which in mammals are the major route of dietary peptide absorption in the small intestine and kidneys. In humans they belong to the Solute Carrier (SLC) 15 gene family and called PepT1 and PepT2. Both PepT1 and PepT2 are of significant pharmaceutical interest due to their ability to actively uptake a number of clinically important drugs, such as beta-lactam antibiotics, antivirals and HIV protease inhibitors. Recent developments in drug delivery technology have targeted PepT1 and PepT2 to improve the pharmacokinetic properties of such drugs, including their uptake and retention within the body. In this seminar I will present our latest work in understanding the molecular basis for peptide recognition and transport within the SLC15 family. Group web site: www.newsteadgroup.org.