Role of the Bile Acid Transporter SLC10A1 in Liver Targeting of the Lipid-Lowering Thyroid Hormone Analog Eprotirome
The thyroid hormone (TH) analog eprotirome (KB2115) was developed to lower cholesterol through selective activation of the TH receptor (TR) β1 in the liver. Interestingly, eprotirome shows low uptake in nonhepatic tissues, explaining its lipid-lowering action without adverse extrahepatic thyromimetic effects. Clinical trials have shown marked decreases in serum cholesterol levels. We explored the transport of eprotirome across the plasma membrane by members of three TH transporter families: monocarboxylate transporters MCT8 and MCT10; Na-independent organic anion transporters 1A2, 1B1, 1B3, 1C1, 2A1, and 2B1; and Na-dependent organic anion transporters SLC10A1 to SLC10A7. Cellular transport was studied in transfected COS1 cells using [14C]eprotirome and [125I]TH analogs. Of the 15 transporters tested initially, the liver-specific bile acid transporter SLC10A1 showed the highest eprotirome uptake (greater than a sevenfold induction after 60 minutes) as well as TRβ1-mediated transcriptional activity. Uptake of eprotirome by SLC10A1 was Na+ dependent and saturable with a Michaelis constant of 8 μM. Eprotirome transport was inhibited by known substrates for SLC10A1 (e.g., cholate and taurocholate), and by TH analogs such as triiodothyropropionic acid and triiodothyroacetic acid. However, no significant SLC10A1-mediated transport was observed of these [125I]TH analogs. We also studied the plasma disappearance and biliary excretion of [14C]eprotirome injected in control and Slc10a1 knockout mice. Although eprotirome is also transported by mouse Slc10a1, the pharmacokinetics of eprotirome were not affected by Slc10a1 deficiency. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that the liver-specific bile acid transporter SLC10A1 effectively transports eprotirome. However, Slc10a1 does not appear to be critical for the liver targeting of this TH analog in mice. Therefore, the importance of SLC10A1 for liver uptake of eprotirome in humans remains to be elucidated.