Matsson P, Fenu LA, Lundquist P, Wiśniewski JR, Kansy M, Artursson P
Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 36 (5) 255-262 [2015-05-00; online 2015-03-19]
The conventional model of drug permeability has recently been challenged. An alternative model proposes that transporter-mediated flux is the sole mechanism of cellular drug permeation, instead of existing in parallel with passive transmembrane diffusion. We examined a central assumption of this alternative hypothesis; namely, that transporters can give rise to experimental observations that would typically be explained with passive transmembrane diffusion. Using systems-biology simulations based on available transporter kinetics and proteomic expression data, we found that such observations are possible in the absence of transmembrane diffusion, but only under very specific conditions that rarely or never occur for known human drug transporters.