Molecular determinants of substrate/inhibitor binding to the human and rabbit renal organic cation transporters hOCT2 and rbOCT2

Wendy M. Suhre, Sean Ekins, Cheng Chang, Peter W. Swaan, Stephen H. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Organic cation transporters are important for the elimination of many drugs and toxins from the body. In the present study, substrate-transporter interactions were investigated in Chinese hamster ovary cells stably transfected with either the human or rabbit orthologs of the principal organic cation transporter in the kidney, OCT2. IC50 values, ranging from 0.04 μM to >3 mM, for inhibition of [14C]tetraethylammonium transport were determined for more than 30 structurally diverse compounds. Although the two OCT orthologs displayed similar IC50 values for some of these compounds, the majority varied by as much as 20-fold. Marked differences in substrate affinity were also noted when comparing hOCT2 to the closely related homolog hOCT1. These data suggest the molecular determinants of substrate binding differ markedly among both homologous and orthologous OCT transporters. The software package Cerius2 (Accelrys, San Diego, CA) was used to generate a descriptor-based, two-dimensional, quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) to produce a model relating the affinity of hOCT2 to particular physicochemical features of substrate/inhibitor molecules (r 2 = 0.81). Comparative molecular field analysis (Tripos, St. Louis, MO) was used to generate three-dimensional QSARs describing the structural basis of substrate binding to hOCT2 and rbOCT2 (q2 = 0.60 and 0.53, respectively, and each with r2 = 0.97). The quality of the models was assessed by their ability to successfully predict the inhibition of a set of test compounds. The current models enabled prediction of OCT2 affinity and may prove useful in the prediction of unwanted drug interactions at the level of the renal secretory process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1077
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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