Abstract
Flavonoid conjugates interact with organic anion transporters (OATs) and attenuate cytotoxicity of adefovir mediated by organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1/SLC22A6). Chi Chun Wong;Nigel P Botting;Caroline Orfila;Nawaf Al-Maharik;Gary Williamson. 2011. Biochem Pharmacol. 81. PMID: 21244849

Flavonoids are conjugated by phase II enzymes in humans to form glucuronidated and sulfated metabolites that are excreted in urine via the kidney. In this study, we examined the interaction between metabolites of quercetin and isoflavonoids found in vivo with human organic anion transporters 1 (OAT1) and 3 (OAT3) and their potential in attenuating OAT-induced cytotoxicity of adefovir. Accumulation of flavonoid conjugates was studied in human embryonic kidney 293H cells overexpressing OAT1 or OAT3. OAT1-overexpressing cells exhibited an increased uptake of the sulfated conjugates, genistein-4'-O-sulfate and quercetin-3'-O-sulfate. OAT3-overexpressing cells demonstrated enhanced uptake of glucuronide conjugates, such as daidzein-7-O-glucuronide, genistein-7-O-glucuronide, glycitein-7-O-glucuronide and quercetin-3'-O-glucuronide. Position of conjugation was important since quercetin-3-O-glucuronide and quercetin-7-O-glucuronide were poorly transported. Kinetic analysis revealed high affinity uptake of quercetin-3'-O-sulfate by OAT1 (K(m)=1.73μM; V(max)=105 pmol/min/mg). OAT3 transported isoflavone glucuronides with lower affinity (K(m)=7.9-19.1 μM) but with higher V(max) (171-420 pmol/min/mg). Quercetin-3'-O-sulfate strongly inhibited OAT1-mediated p-aminohippuric acid uptake with an IC(50) of 1.22μM. Transport of 5-carboxyfluorescein by OAT3 was potently inhibited by quercetin-3-O-glucuronide, quercetin-3'-O-glucuronide and quercetin-3'-O-sulfate (IC(50)=0.43-1.31μM). In addition, quercetin-3'-O-sulfate was shown to effectively reduce OAT1-mediated cytotoxicity of adefovir, an antiviral drug, in a dose-dependent manner. These data suggest that OAT1 and OAT3 are responsible for basolateral uptake of flavonoid conjugates in kidney, and flavonoid conjugates inhibit OAT1 and OAT3 activity at physiologically relevant concentrations. Interaction with OATs limits systemic availability of flavonoids and may be a mechanism of food-drug interaction via inhibition of renal uptake.
Mechanistic Basis of Cabotegravir-Glucuronide Disposition in Humans. Mitesh Patel;H Christian Eberl;Andrea Wolf;Esaie Pierre;Joseph W Polli;Maciej J Zamek-Gliszczynski. 2019. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 370. PMID: 31175220

Cabotegravir, a novel integrase inhibitor under development for treatment and prevention of HIV, is primarily metabolized by UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT)1A1 and UGT1A9 to a direct ether glucuronide metabolite. The aim of these studies was to elucidate the mechanistic basis of cabotegravir-glucuronide disposition in humans. Cabotegravir glucuronidation was predominantly hepatic (>95%) with minimal intestinal and renal contribution. Rat liver perfusions demonstrated that cabotegravir-glucuronide formed in the liver undergoes comparable biliary and sinusoidal excretion, consistent with high concentrations of the glucuronide in human bile and urine. Cabotegravir-glucuronide biliary excretion was mediated by multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP)2 (not transported by breast cancer resistance protein or P-glycoprotein), whereas hepatic basolateral excretion into sinusoidal blood was via both MRP3 [fraction transport (Ft) = 0.81] and MRP4 (Ft = 0.19). Surprisingly, despite high urinary recovery of hepatically-formed cabotegravir-glucuronide, metabolite levels in circulation were negligible, a phenomenon consistent with rapid metabolite clearance. Cabotegravir-glucuronide was transported by hepatic uptake transporters organic anion-transporting (OAT) polypeptide (OATP)1B1 and OATP1B3; however, metabolite clearance by hepatic uptake from circulation was low (2.7% of hepatic blood flow) and unable to explain the minimal systemic exposure. Instead, circulating cabotegravir-glucuronide undergoes efficient renal clearance, where uptake into the proximal tubule would be mediated by OAT3 (not transported by OAT1), and subsequent secretion into urine by MRP2 (Ft = 0.66) and MRP4 (Ft = 0.34). These studies provide mechanistic insight into the disposition of cabotegravir-glucuronide, a hepatically-formed metabolite with appreciable urinary recovery and minimal systemic exposure, including fractional contribution of redundant transporters to any given process based on quantitative proteomics. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The role of membrane transporters in metabolite disposition, especially glucuronides, and as sites of unexpected drug-drug interactions, which alter drug efficacy and safety, has been established. Cabotegravir-glucuronide, formed predominantly by direct glucuronidation of parent drug in liver, was the major metabolite recovered in human urine (27% of oral dose) but was surprisingly not detected in systemic circulation. To our knowledge, this is the first mechanistic description of this phenomenon for a major hepatically-formed metabolite to be excreted in the urine to a large extent, but not circulate at detectable levels. The present study elucidates the mechanistic basis of cabotegravir-glucuronide disposition in humans. Specific hepatic and renal transporters involved in the disposition of cabotegravir-glucuronide, with their fractional contribution, have been provided.
Evaluation of the role of breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2) and multidrug resistance-associated protein 4 (MRP4/ABCC4) in the urinary excretion of sulfate and glucuronide metabolites of edaravone (MCI-186; 3-methyl-1-phenyl-2-pyrazolin-5-one). Naomi Mizuno;Tsuyoshi Takahashi;Hiroyuki Kusuhara;John D Schuetz;Takuro Niwa;Yuichi Sugiyama. 2007. Drug Metab Dispos. 35. PMID: 17682070

Edaravone (MCI-186; 3-methyl-1-phenyl-2-pyrazolin-5-one), a free radical scavenger, is used for the treatment of acute cerebral infarction. Edaravone is mainly excreted into the urine after conjugation to glucuronide or sulfate. Previous studies have demonstrated that edaravone sulfate is a good substrate of human organic anion transporter (OAT) 1 (SLC22A6) and human OAT3 (SLC22A8). In this study, we examined the involvement of breast cancer resistance protein [BCRP (ABCG2)] and [multidrug resistance-associated protein 4 MRP4 (ABCC4)] in the luminal efflux in the kidney. Increased ATP-dependent uptake of edaravone sulfate but not edaravone glucuronide was observed in BCRP-expressing membrane vesicles compared with control vesicles (Km = 16.5 microM). In contrast, edaravone glucuronide, but not edaravone sulfate, exhibited greater ATP-dependent uptake in MRP4-expressing membrane vesicles than that in control vesicles (Km = 9.85 microM). Unlike taurocholate uptake, S-methylglutathione had no effect on the ATP-dependent uptake of edaravone glucuronide by MRP4. The functional importance of BCRP and MRP4 in the urinary excretion of edaravone sulfate and edaravone glucuronide, respectively, was investigated using Bcrp and Mrp4 knockout mice. The renal clearance with respect to the kidney concentration of edaravone sulfate was reduced significantly but not abolished in Bcrp knockout mice compared with wild-type mice (3.62 versus 4.85 ml/min/kg b.wt.). The renal clearance of edaravone glucuronide was lower in Mrp4 knockout mice than wild-type mice (2.01 versus 5.06 ml/min/kg BW). Our results suggest that Bcrp and Mrp4 are partly involved in the luminal efflux of edaravone sulfate and edaravone glucuronide, respectively.
Inhibition of Methotrexate Uptake via Organic Anion Transporters OAT1 and OAT3 by Glucuronides of Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs. Masahiro Iwaki;Hiroaki Shimada;Yuri Irino;Manami Take;Sachiko Egashira. 2017. Biol Pharm Bull. 40. PMID: 28566636

Combination therapy of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and methotrexate (MTX) sometimes triggers adverse effects, such as liver injury, renal failure, gastrointestinal disorders, and myelosuppression, owing to the reduction of MTX clearance. Previous reports have suggested that NSAIDs inhibit renal MTX uptake via organic anion transporters (OATs) and reduced folate transporter (RFC)-1 and efflux via multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs). Recently, our laboratory found inhibitory effects of NSAIDs-glucuronide (NSAIDs-Glu), a major metabolite of NSAIDs, on MRP-mediated MTX transport as a new site of interaction between MTX and NSAIDs. However, it remains unclear that whether NSAIDs-Glu inhibit renal uptake of MTX. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate inhibitory effects of several NSAIDs-Glu (diclofenac, R- and S-ibuprofen, R- and S-flurbiprofen, and R- and S-naproxen) on human OAT1 and OAT3-mediated MTX transport. In this study, [3H]MTX uptake was observed by using human OAT1 and OAT3-overexpressing HEK293 cells in the presence or absence of NSAIDs-Glu. All examined NSAIDs-Glu exhibited concentration-dependent inhibitory effects on MTX uptake via OAT1 and OAT3. Our results indicated that NSAIDs-Glu are more potent (5- to 15-fold) inhibitors of OAT3 than OAT1. Moreover, stereoselective inhibitory effects of NSAIDs-Glu on OATs-mediated MTX uptake were not observed, unlike on MRPs-mediated transport. These findings suggest that inhibition of OAT1 and OAT3-mediated renal uptake of MTX by plasma NSAIDs-Glu may be one of the competitive sites underlying complex drug interaction between MTX and NSAIDs.
Characterization of the efflux transport of 17beta-estradiol-D-17beta-glucuronide from the brain across the blood-brain barrier. D Sugiyama;H Kusuhara;Y Shitara;T Abe;P J Meier;T Sekine;H Endou;H Suzuki;Y Sugiyama. 2001. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 298. PMID: 11408557

The contribution of organic anion transporters to the total efflux of 17beta-estradiol-D-17beta-glucuronide (E(2)17betaG) through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) was investigated using the Brain Efflux Index method by examining the inhibitory effects of probenecid, taurocholate (TCA), p-aminohippurate (PAH), and digoxin. E(2)17betaG was eliminated through the BBB with a rate constant of 0.037 min(-1) after the microinjection into the brain. Probenecid and TCA inhibited this elimination with an IC50 value of 34 and 1.8 nmol/0.5 microl of injectate, respectively, whereas PAH and digoxin reduced the total efflux to about 80 and 60% of the control value, respectively. The selectivity of these inhibitors was confirmed by examining their inhibitory effects on the transport via organic anion transporting polypeptide 1 (Oatp1), Oatp2, organic anion transporter 1 (Oat1), and Oat3 transfectants using LLC-PK1 cells as hosts. Digoxin specifically inhibited the transport via Oatp2 (K(i) = 0.037 microM). The K(i) values of TCA for Oatp1 and Oatp2 (11 and 39 microM, respectively) were about 20 times lower than those for Oat1 and Oat3 (2.8 and 0.8 mM, respectively). PAH did not affect the transport via the Oatp family, but had a similar affinity for Oat1 and Oat3 (85 and 300 microM, respectively). Probenecid had a similar affinity for these transporters (Oatp1, Oatp2, Oat1, and Oat3) examined in this study. Taking the selectivity of these inhibitors into consideration, the maximum contribution made by the Oatp2 and Oat family to the total efflux of E(2)17betaG from the brain appears to be about 40 and 20%, respectively.
Diclofenac and Its Acyl Glucuronide: Determination of In Vivo Exposure in Human Subjects and Characterization as Human Drug Transporter Substrates In Vitro. Yueping Zhang;Yong-Hae Han;Siva Prasad Putluru;Murali Krishna Matta;Prashant Kole;Sandhya Mandlekar;Michael T Furlong;Tongtong Liu;Ramaswamy A Iyer;Punit Marathe;Zheng Yang;Yurong Lai;A David Rodrigues. 2015. Drug Metab Dispos. 44. PMID: 26714763

Although the metabolism and disposition of diclofenac (DF) has been studied extensively, information regarding the plasma levels of its acyl-β-d-glucuronide (DF-AG), a major metabolite, in human subjects is limited. Therefore, DF-AG concentrations were determined in plasma (acidified blood derived) of six healthy volunteers following a single oral DF dose (50 mg). Levels of DF-AG in plasma were high, as reflected by a DF-AG/DF ratio of 0.62 ± 0.21 (Cmax mean ± S.D.) and 0.84 ± 0.21 (area under the concentration-time curve mean ± S.D.). Both DF and DF-AG were also studied as substrates of different human drug transporters in vitro. DF was identified as a substrate of organic anion transporter (OAT) 2 only (Km = 46.8 µM). In contrast, DF-AG was identified as a substrate of numerous OATs (Km = 8.6, 60.2, 103.9, and 112 µM for OAT2, OAT1, OAT4, and OAT3, respectively), two organic anion-transporting polypeptides (OATP1B1, Km = 34 µM; OATP2B1, Km = 105 µM), breast cancer resistance protein (Km = 152 µM), and two multidrug resistance proteins (MRP2, Km = 145 µM; MRP3, Km = 196 µM). It is concluded that the disposition of DF-AG, once formed, can be mediated by various candidate transporters known to be expressed in the kidney (basolateral, OAT1, OAT2, and OAT3; apical, MRP2, BCRP, and OAT4) and liver (canalicular, MRP2 and BCRP; basolateral, OATP1B1, OATP2B1, OAT2, and MRP3). DF-AG is unstable in plasma and undergoes conversion to parent DF. Therefore, caution is warranted when assessing renal and hepatic transporter-mediated drug-drug interactions with DF and DF-AG.
Interaction and transport characteristics of mycophenolic acid and its glucuronide via human organic anion transporters hOAT1 and hOAT3. Yuichi Uwai;Hideyuki Motohashi;Yoshie Tsuji;Harumasa Ueo;Toshiya Katsura;Ken-ichi Inui. 2007. Biochem Pharmacol. 74. PMID: 17462604

The immunosuppressant mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is frequently administered with calcineurin inhibitors and corticosteroids to recipients of organ transplantations. However, the renal handling of the active metabolite mycophenolic acid (MPA) and 7-O-MPA-glucuronide (MPAG) has been unclear. The purpose of the present study was to assess the interaction of MPA and MPAG with the human renal organic anion transporters hOAT1 (SLC22A6) and hOAT3 (SLC22A8), by conducting uptake experiments using HEK293 cells stably expressing these transporters. MPA and MPAG inhibited the time-dependent uptake of p-[(14)C]aminohippurate by hOAT1 and that of [(3)H]estrone sulfate by hOAT3. The apparent 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of MPA for hOAT1 and hOAT3 was estimated at 10.7 and 1.5 microM, respectively. In the case of MPAG, the IC(50) values were calculated at 512.3 microM for hOAT1 and 69.1 microM for hOAT3. Eadie-Hofstee plot analyses showed that they inhibited hOAT1 noncompetitively and hOAT3 competitively. No inhibitory effects of tacrolimus, cyclosporin A and azathioprine on transport of p-[(14)C]aminohippurate by hOAT1 and of [(3)H]estrone sulfate by hOAT3 were observed. No transport of MPA by these transporters was observed. On the other hand, the uptake of MPAG into cells was stimulated by the expression of hOAT3, but not hOAT1. These findings propose the possibility that the administration of MMF decreases the renal clearance of drugs which are substrates of hOAT1 and hOAT3. Present data suggest that hOAT3 contributes to the renal tubular secretion of MPAG.
Roles of rat renal organic anion transporters in transporting perfluorinated carboxylates with different chain lengths. Yi M Weaver;David J Ehresman;John L Butenhoff;Bruno Hagenbuch. 2009. Toxicol Sci. 113. PMID: 19915082

Perfluorinated carboxylates (PFCAs) are generally stable to metabolic and environmental degradation and have been found at low concentrations in environmental and biological samples. Renal clearance of PFCAs depends on chain length, species, and, in some cases, gender within species. While perfluoroheptanoate (C7) is almost completely eliminated renally in both male and female rats, renal clearance of perfluorooctanoate (C8) and perfluorononanoate (C9) is much higher in female rats. Perfluorodecanoate (C10) mainly accumulates in the liver for both genders. Therefore, we tested whether PFCAs with different chain lengths are substrates of rat renal transporters with gender-specific expression patterns. Inhibition of uptake of model substrates was measured for the basolateral organic anion transporter (Oat)1 and Oat3 and the apical Oat2, organic anion transporting polypeptide (Oatp)1a1, and Urat1 with 10microM PFCAs with chain lengths from 2 to 18 (C2-C18) carbons. Perfluorohexanoate (C6), C7, and C8 inhibited Oat1-mediated p-aminohippurate transport, with C7 being the strongest inhibitor. C8 and C9 were the strongest inhibitors for Oat3-mediated estrone-3-sulfate transport, while Oatp1a1-mediated estradiol-17beta-glucuronide uptake was inhibited by C9, C10, and perflouroundecanoate (C11), with C10 giving the strongest inhibition. No strong inhibitors were found for Oat2 or Urat1. Kinetic analysis was performed for the strongest inhibitors. Oat1 transported C7 and C8 with K(m) values of 50.5 and 43.2microM, respectively. Oat3 transported C8 and C9 with K(m) values of 65.7 and 174.5microM, respectively. Oatp1a1-mediated transport yielded K(m) values of 126.4 (C8), 20.5 (C9), and 28.5microM (C10). These results suggest that Oat1 and Oat3 are involved in renal secretion of C7-C9, while Oatp1a1 can contribute to the reabsorption of C8 through C10, with highest affinities for C9 and C10.
Increased Plasma Exposures of Conjugated Metabolites of Morinidazole in Renal Failure Patients: A Critical Role of Uremic Toxins. Fandi Kong;Xiaoyan Pang;Kan Zhong;Zitao Guo;Xiuli Li;Dafang Zhong;Xiaoyan Chen. 2017. Drug Metab Dispos. 45. PMID: 28314825

Morinidazole is a 5-nitroimidazole drug. Its sulfate conjugate M7 was a sensitive substrate of organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1) and OAT3, whereas N+-glucuronides M8-1 and M8-2 were only OAT3 substrates. In chronic renal failure (CRF) patients, plasma exposures of the three conjugates increased by 15-fold, which were also found in 5/6 nephrectomized (5/6 Nx) rats in this study. Although the transcriptions of Oat1 and Oat3 in 5/6 Nx rat kidneys decreased by 50%, no difference was observed on the three conjugate uptakes between control and 5/6 Nx rat kidney slices. Thus, the highly elevated endogenous uremic toxins in 5/6 Nx rats and humans, namely, 3-carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropionate (CMPF), hippuric acid (HA), and indoxyl sulfate (IS), were considered as influential factors. In rat kidney slices, the uptake of M7, M8-1, and M8-2 was dose dependently reduced by HA and IS, whose plasma concentrations were elevated 5 times in 5/6 Nx rats. In OAT3-overexpressed cells, the three conjugate uptakes were inhibited by CMPF, HA, and IS with IC50 values of 19.2, 87.4, and 222 μM (M7); 8.53, 39.4, and 161 μM (M8-1); and 6.75, 24.1, and 78.3 μM (M8-2), respectively. In OAT1-overexpressed cells, CMPF, HA, and IS showed weak inhibition on M7 uptake with IC50 values of 187, 162, and 200 μM, correspondingly. Results suggest that the reduced mRNA expression of renal transporters in CRF patients may not influence the activities of these transporters. However, accumulated uremic toxins may inhibit the transporters, particularly OAT3, leading to plasma exposure changes of relevant substrates.
Impact of curcumin on the pharmacokinetics of rosuvastatin in rats and dogs based on the conjugated metabolites. Xin Zhou;Fangrong Zhang;Chang Chen;Zitao Guo;Jia Liu;Jinghua Yu;Yong Xu;Dafang Zhong;Hongliang Jiang. 2016. Xenobiotica. 47. PMID: 27174018

1. Plasma concentrations of curcumin-O-glucuronide (COG) and curcumin-O-sulfate (COS) significantly increased after Sprague-Dawley rats dealt with the Oatp inhibitor rifampicin, with the Cmax ascending 2.9 and 6.7 times, and the AUC0-∞ ascending 4.4 and 10.8 times, respectively. When pretreated with the Oat inhibitor probenecid, the Cmax increased 4.4 and 20 times, and the AUC0-∞ increased 3.2 and 13.9 times, respectively. The results suggested that COG and COS may be the substrates of Oatp and Oat. 2. The accumulation of curcumin significantly increased in organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP)- and organic anion transporter (OAT)-transfected human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 systems, which suggested that curcumin was a substrate of OATP1B1, OATP1B3, OATP2B1, OAT1, and OAT3; and COG was a substrate of OATP1B1, OATP1B3, and OAT3. 3. Inhibition study using rosuvastatin as the substrate in OATP1B1- and OATP1B3-transfected cells indicated that curcumin was an OATP1B1 and 1B3 inhibitor, with IC50 at 5.19 ± 0.05 and 3.68 ± 0.05 μM, respectively; the data for COG were 1.04 ± 0.01 and 1.08 ± 0.02 μM, respectively. COS was speculated to be an inhibitor of hepatic OATP1B1 as calculated using the ADMET Predictor. 4. COG and COS are substrates and inhibitors of OATP/Oatp. Co-administration of curcumin significantly increased rosuvastatin concentration in rat and dog plasma.
In Vitro Interactions of Epacadostat and its Major Metabolites with Human Efflux and Uptake Transporters: Implications for Pharmacokinetics and Drug Interactions. Qiang Zhang;Yan Zhang;Jason Boer;Jack G Shi;Peidi Hu;Sharon Diamond;Swamy Yeleswaram. 2017. Drug Metab Dispos. 45. PMID: 28283500

Epacadostat (EPAC) is a first-in-class, orally active inhibitor of the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 and has demonstrated promising clinical activity. In humans, three major plasma metabolites have been identified: M9 (a glucuronide-conjugate), M11 (a gut microbiota metabolite), and M12 (a secondary metabolite formed from M11). It is proposed, based on the human pharmacokinetics of EPAC, that the biliary excretion of M9, the most abundant metabolite, leads to the enterohepatic circulation of EPAC. Using various in vitro systems, we evaluated in the present study the vitro interactions of EPAC and its major metabolites with major drug transporters involved in drug absorption and disposition. EPAC is a substrate for efflux transporters P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), but it is not a substrate for hepatic uptake transporters [organic anion transporting polypeptides OATP1B1 and OATP1B3]. The low permeability of M9 suggests an essential role for transporters in its disposition. M9 is likely excreted from hepatocytes into bile via multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) and BCRP, excreted into blood via MRP3, and transported from blood back into hepatocytes via OATP1B1 and OATP1B3. M11 and M12 are not substrates for P-gp, OATP1B1 or OATP1B3, and M11, but not M12, is a substrate for BCRP. With respect to inhibition of drug transporters, the potential of EPAC, M9, M11, and M12 to cause clinical drug-drug interactions via inhibition of P-gp, BCRP, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, OAT1, OAT3, or organic cation transporter 2 was estimated to be low. The current investigation underlines the importance of metabolite-transporter interactions in the disposition of clinically relevant metabolites, which may have implications for the pharmacokinetics and drug interactions of parent drugs.
Systems Biology Analysis Reveals Eight SLC22 Transporter Subgroups, Including OATs, OCTs, and OCTNs. Darcy C Engelhart;Jeffry C Granados;Da Shi;Milton H Saier Jr;Michael E Baker;Ruben Abagyan;Sanjay K Nigam. 2020. Int J Mol Sci. 21. PMID: 32150922

The SLC22 family of OATs, OCTs, and OCTNs is emerging as a central hub of endogenous physiology. Despite often being referred to as "drug" transporters, they facilitate the movement of metabolites and key signaling molecules. An in-depth reanalysis supports a reassignment of these proteins into eight functional subgroups, with four new subgroups arising from the previously defined OAT subclade: OATS1 (SLC22A6, SLC22A8, and SLC22A20), OATS2 (SLC22A7), OATS3 (SLC22A11, SLC22A12, and Slc22a22), and OATS4 (SLC22A9, SLC22A10, SLC22A24, and SLC22A25). We propose merging the OCTN (SLC22A4, SLC22A5, and Slc22a21) and OCT-related (SLC22A15 and SLC22A16) subclades into the OCTN/OCTN-related subgroup. Using data from GWAS, in vivo models, and in vitro assays, we developed an SLC22 transporter-metabolite network and similar subgroup networks, which suggest how multiple SLC22 transporters with mono-, oligo-, and multi-specific substrate specificity interact to regulate metabolites. Subgroup associations include: OATS1 with signaling molecules, uremic toxins, and odorants, OATS2 with cyclic nucleotides, OATS3 with uric acid, OATS4 with conjugated sex hormones, particularly etiocholanolone glucuronide, OCT with neurotransmitters, and OCTN/OCTN-related with ergothioneine and carnitine derivatives. Our data suggest that the SLC22 family can work among itself, as well as with other ADME genes, to optimize levels of numerous metabolites and signaling molecules, involved in organ crosstalk and inter-organismal communication, as proposed by the remote sensing and signaling theory.