Transport proteins act as our cells’ gate-keepers, controlling the flow of nutrients and other molecules (including drugs) into and out of the cell. The REsolution project focuses on solute carriers (SLCs); with over 400 members, SLCs are the largest group of transport proteins. Yet although they have been implicated in a number of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and schizophrenia, SLCs have yet to be studied in detail.
The IMI project RESOLUTE is working hard to change that, and is delivering a wealth of open access tools, knowledge and resources on the biology and biochemistry of SLCs that will make it easier to identify SLCs that are involved in specific diseases. The aim of REsolution is to build on the work of RESOLUTE by adding genetics to the equation. Put simply, like all proteins, SLCs are created based on instructions encoded in our genes. Variations in these genes can result in variations in how the SLCs work, and this could explain why (for example) some people’s cells take up certain molecules more easily than others.
REsolution aims to gather existing data, and generate new knowledge on genetic variation in SLCs. Together with the information gathered by RESOLUTE, this will form a valuable resource that could help researchers to identify the SLCs (and their genetic variants) that are most clearly involved in diseases. This could in turn contribute to the development of new drugs to treat these diseases.