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Unless otherwise stated all data on this page refer to the human proteins. Gene information is provided for human (Hs), mouse (Mm) and rat (Rn).
As a product of protein catabolism, urea is moved around the body and through the kidneys for excretion. Although there is experimental evidence for concentrative urea transporters, these have not been defined at the molecular level. The SLC14 family are facilitative transporters, allowing urea movement down its concentration gradient. Multiple splice variants of these transporters have been identified; for UT-A transporters, in particular, there is evidence for cell-specific expression of these variants with functional impact . Topographical modelling suggests that the majority of the variants of SLC14 transporters have 10 TM domains, with a glycosylated extracellular loop at TM5/6, and intracellular C- and N-termini. The UT-A1 splice variant, exceptionally, has 20 TM domains, equivalent to a combination of the UT-A2 and UT-A3 splice variants.
* Key recommended reading is highlighted with an asterisk
Bagnasco SM. (2005) Role and regulation of urea transporters. Pflugers Arch., 450 (4): 217-26. [PMID:15924241]
Bagnasco SM. (2006) The erythrocyte urea transporter UT-B. J. Membr. Biol., 212 (2): 133-8. [PMID:17264984]
* Esteva-Font C, Anderson MO, Verkman AS. (2015) Urea transporter proteins as targets for small-molecule diuretics. Nat Rev Nephrol, 11 (2): 113-23. [PMID:25488859]
Fenton RA. (2009) Essential role of vasopressin-regulated urea transport processes in the mammalian kidney. Pflugers Arch., 458 (1): 169-77. [PMID:19011892]
* LeMoine CM, Walsh PJ. (2015) Evolution of urea transporters in vertebrates: adaptation to urea's multiple roles and metabolic sources. J. Exp. Biol., 218 (Pt 12): 1936-1945. [PMID:26085670]
* Pannabecker TL. (2013) Comparative physiology and architecture associated with the mammalian urine concentrating mechanism: role of inner medullary water and urea transport pathways in the rodent medulla. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol., 304 (7): R488-503. [PMID:23364530]
* Shayakul C, Clémençon B, Hediger MA. (2013) The urea transporter family (SLC14): physiological, pathological and structural aspects. Mol. Aspects Med., 34 (2-3): 313-22. [PMID:23506873]
* Shayakul C, Hediger MA. (2004) The SLC14 gene family of urea transporters. Pflugers Arch., 447 (5): 603-9. [PMID:12856182]
* Smith CP. (2009) Mammalian urea transporters. Exp. Physiol., 94 (2): 180-5. [PMID:19028811]
Smith CP, Fenton RA. (2006) Genomic organization of the mammalian SLC14a2 urea transporter genes. J. Membr. Biol., 212 (2): 109-17. [PMID:17264986]
* Stewart G. (2011) The emerging physiological roles of the SLC14A family of urea transporters. Br. J. Pharmacol., 164 (7): 1780-92. [PMID:21449978]
Yang B, Bankir L. (2005) Urea and urine concentrating ability: new insights from studies in mice. Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol., 288 (5): F881-96. [PMID:15821253]
1. Liu Y, Esteva-Font C, Yao C, Phuan PW, Verkman AS, Anderson MO. (2013) 1,1-Difluoroethyl-substituted triazolothienopyrimidines as inhibitors of a human urea transport protein (UT-B): new analogs and binding model. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett., 23 (11): 3338-41. [PMID:23597791]
2. Maciver B, Smith CP, Hill WG, Zeidel ML. (2008) Functional characterization of mouse urea transporters UT-A2 and UT-A3 expressed in purified Xenopus laevis oocyte plasma membranes. Am. J. Physiol. Renal Physiol., 294 (4): F956-64. [PMID:18256317]
3. Stewart G. (2011) The emerging physiological roles of the SLC14A family of urea transporters. Br. J. Pharmacol., 164 (7): 1780-92. [PMID:21449978]
4. Zhao D, Sonawane ND, Levin MH, Yang B. (2007) Comparative transport efficiencies of urea analogues through urea transporter UT-B. Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1768 (7): 1815-21. [PMID:17506977]
Database page citation:
Gavin Stewart. SLC14 family of facilitative urea transporters. Accessed on 26/04/2017. IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY, http://www.guidetopharmacology.org/GRAC/FamilyDisplayForward?familyId=186.
Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY citation:
Alexander SPH, Kelly E, Marrion N, Peters JA, Benson HE, Faccenda E, Pawson AJ, Sharman JL, Southan C, Davies JA and CGTP Collaborators (2015) The Concise Guide to PHARMACOLOGY 2015/16: Transporters. Br J Pharmacol. 172: 6110-6202.