Published online Jan 15, 2017. doi: 10.4251/wjgo.v9.i1.21
Peer-review started: August 16, 2016
First decision: September 28, 2016
Revised: October 8, 2016
Accepted: November 1, 2016
Article in press: November 2, 2016
Published online: January 15, 2017
L-type amino acid transporters (LATs) mainly assist the uptake of neutral amino acids into cells. Four LATs (LAT1, LAT2, LAT3 and LAT4) have so far been identified. LAT1 (SLC7A5) has been attracting much attention in the field of cancer research since it is commonly up-regulated in various cancers. Basic research has made it increasingly clear that LAT1 plays a predominant role in malignancy. The functional significance of LAT1 in cancer and the potential therapeutic application of the features of LAT1 to cancer management are described in this review.
Core tip: The discovery of molecules preferentially expressed in cancer cells is extremely valuable for the development of molecular target drugs in cancer therapy. Amino acid transporters have been receiving a great amount of attention as a candidate of such molecular targets. This review summarizes new initiatives for clinical applications of the basic research relative to L-type amino acid transporters, which are commonly expressed in cancers.