Membrane Solute Carriers: challenges and opportunities as drug targets

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    Webinar Summary:

    The solute carrier (SLCs) proteins mediate the transport of a broad range of substances across surface and organellar membranes, with their physiological function ranging from nutrient uptake to the absorption of drugs and other xenobiotics. Dysregulations in SLCs have been associated with several diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and neurological disorders indicating their potential to serve as targets for therapeutic intervention.
    However, to date the SLC superfamily appears under-investigated in drug discovery. Part of this discrepancy relates to the lack of knowledge on transported substrates for many SLC proteins. In addition, functional assays for this target class are far from trivial.
    To contribute towards unlocking the potential of this target class, Axxam participated in two large public-private partnership programs supported by funding from the European Innovative Medicine Initiative (IMI): RESOLUTE and REsolution. Our efforts have been focused on developing assay solutions for selected SLC transporters employing a large spectrum of technologies, including genetically encoded sensors, fluorescent substrates and dyes, optogenetics tools, and electrophysiology.
    In this webinar we will share key insights and numerous case studies demonstrating the general feasibility to advance SLC research to drug discovery.


    SLCs, cell-based assay, genetic variants, genetically encoded sensors, optogenetics, HTS, drug discovery, RESOLUTE and REsolution


    • Loredana Redaelli, Head of Cell Biology, Axxam

    • Giovanna Maresca, Unit Manager, Unit 3 Cell Biology, Axxam

    Loredana Redaelli has headed the Cell Biology group at Axxam since 2007, and continues to coordinate the research activities of this group, which focuses on the development and validation of miniaturized, functional cell-based assays for high-throughput screening using innovative and state-of-the-art technologies.
    Loredana has actively participated in projects funded by Italian and European Grants such as COGNIPLANT, OMICs, NeuroSafe (ETB), IMI-PHAGO and IMI-RESOLUTE.
    She joined Axxam in 2001, initially working in the Biochemistry group before passing to the Cell Biology group. Previously, she worked as a research scientist at the Bayer Research Centre in Milan, generating cell-based high-throughput screening assays for various pharmacological targets involved in cardiovascular diseases. Loredana holds a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences from University of Pavia and a postgraduate Diploma in Biotechnology from the University of Milan.

    Giovanna Maresca joined Axxam in 2011 and worked as Principal Scientist in the Cell Biology Group for several years, gaining expertise in the development of cell-based assays for different targets, including GPCRs, ion channels, transporters and especially SLCs, using innovative and state-of-the-art technologies to design assays for compound profiling and HTS purposes. She was part of the Axxam team involved in the RESOLUTE program. She is currently Unit Manager of one of Axxam’s three Cell Biology teams, managing both internal research activities and collaboration with clients.
    Before joining Axxam, she obtained a Master’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Biotechnologies and a PhD Degree in Genetics and Cellular Biology, focusing her research in the Oncology and Neuroscience fields at the European Brain Research Institute.

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