Since the cloning of the first membrane transporter, our understanding of the role of transporters in clinical drug disposition and response has grown enormously. In parallel, large scale genomewide variation studies and the emerging field of pharmacogenomics has ushered in a new understanding of variation in drug response. At the crossroads of the fields of pharmacogenomics and transporter biology is the NIH funded Pharmacogenomics of Membrane Transporters (PMT) project, centered at the University of California, San Francisco.
PMT is part of the NIH sponsored Pharmacogenetics Research Network (PGRN). Since its inception nine years ago, PMT has made many important scientific contributions to both pharmacogenomics and transporter biology and is poised to contribute even more with the recent advances in technology and the plethora of information about human genetic variation. In this manuscript, we describe the history and organizational structure of PMT and importantly, its contributions to the fields of transporter biology and pharmacogenomics. We discuss multiple collaborations that have been initiated by PMT investigators and our database, dbPMT, which was recently released publicly and provides a wealth of information for scientists in the fields of genomics, pharmacology and transporter biology. Finally, we briefly discuss future directions of PMT, which are aimed at advancing our understanding of the functional genomics of membrane transporters and the contribution of genetic variation in transporters to adverse and therapeutic drug response.