Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-98

Role of multidrug transporters in neurotherapeutics

Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjeev V Thomas
Department of Neurology, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum - 695 011
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.53076

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Acquired resistance to antibiotics and other chemotherapeutic agents is a major problem in the practice of neurology and other branches of medicine. There are several mechanisms by which drug resistance is acquired. Multidrug transporters are important glycoproteins located in the cell membrane that actively transport small lipophilic molecules from one side of the cell membrane to the other, most often from the inside to the outside of a cell. They have important protective role yet may prove inconvenient in chemotherapy. In epilepsy and other disorders this mechanism augments the elimination of drugs from their target cells and leads to drug resistance. In this review, we have discussed the biochemical characteristics of multidrug transporters and the mechanisms by which these membrane bound proteins transport their target molecules from one side to the other side of the cell membrane. We have also briefly discussed the application of this knowledge in the understanding of drug resistance in various clinical situations with particular reference to neurological disorders. These proteins located in the placenta have important role in preventing the transplacental movement of drugs in to the fetus which may result in congenital malformations or other defects. The molecular genetic mechanisms that govern the expression of these important proteins are discussed briefly. The potential scope to develop targeted chemotherapeutic agents is also discussed.

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