The SLC family includes approximately 300 genes that provide instructions for making proteins called solute carriers. Proteins in the SLC family transport various molecules across the membranes surrounding the cell and its component parts.
The SLC genes are often called a "superfamily" because they can be further categorized into dozens of smaller families based on the type of molecules their corresponding proteins transport. These families are indicated by the first number in the gene symbol, and the letter "A" followed by another number indicates the specific gene within that family. For example, SLC39A1 indicates the first member in family 39, the metal ion transporters.
Defects in many of the solute carrier genes are implicated in human diseases. When a solute carrier protein does not function properly, a particular type of molecule might not be able to make its way efficiently into the cell or cell compartment (organelle) where it is needed. Alternatively, a substance may not be able to be removed from the cell for disposal or use elsewhere, and may accumulate to toxic levels. Solute carrier proteins are also of interest for drug development research, for example in facilitating the delivery of a drug to its intended target in the body.
The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides a list of genes in the SLC family.
Genetics Home Reference provides additional information about these members of the SLC gene family: SLC12A6, SLC16A2, SLC17A5, SLC1A3, SLC22A5, SLC25A13, SLC25A15, SLC25A19, SLC25A20, SLC26A2, SLC26A4, SLC2A1, SLC3A1, SLC40A1, SLC45A2, SLC5A1, SLC5A5, SLC7A7, and SLC7A9.
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