The AAPS Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 1128–1140 | Cite as

Mass Spectrometry-Based Targeted Proteomics as a Tool to Elucidate the Expression and Function of Intestinal Drug Transporters

  • Stefan Oswald
  • Christian Gröer
  • Marek Drozdzik
  • Werner Siegmund
Review Article Theme: Targeted Proteomics Quantification for Membrane Proteins
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Theme: Targeted Proteomics Quantification for Membrane Proteins


Intestinal transporter proteins affect the oral bioavailability of many drugs in a significant manner. In order to estimate or predict their impact on oral drug absorption, data on their intestinal expression levels are needed. So far, predominantly mRNA expression data are available which are not necessarily correlated with the respective protein content. All available protein data were assessed by immunoblotting techniques such as Western blotting which both possess a number of limitations for reliable protein quantification. In contrast to this, mass spectrometry-based targeted proteomics may represent a promising alternative method to provide comprehensive protein expression data. In this review, we will summarize so far available intestinal mRNA and protein expression data for relevant human multidrug transporters. Moreover, recently observed mass spectrometry-based targeted proteomic data will be presented and discussed with respect to potential functional consequences. Associated to this, we will provide a short tutorial how to set up these methods and emphasize critical aspects in method development. Finally, potential limitations and pitfalls of this emerging technique will be discussed. From our perspective, LC-MS/MS-based targeted proteomics represents a valuable new method to comprehensively analyse the intestinal expression of transporter proteins. The resulting expression data are expected to improve our understanding about the intestinal processing of drugs.


drug transporters intestinal mass spectrometry quantification targeted proteomics 



This study was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (grant 03IPT612X, InnoProfile-Transfer).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Oswald
    • 1
  • Christian Gröer
    • 1
  • Marek Drozdzik
    • 2
  • Werner Siegmund
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Center of Drug Absorption and TransportUniversity Medicine GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Department of Experimental and Clinical PharmacologyPomeranian Medical UniversitySzczecinPoland

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