Drug Transporters in Human Stem Cells

Date: October 08 2020
Presenter(s): Balázs Sarkadi, PhD, MD

Summary of the presentation

Human stem cells and their tissue derivatives are increasingly applied in advanced medical therapies, as well as in in vitro pharmacological and toxicological studies. Drug development, based on the application of human stem cell preparations may provide more appropriate and less expensive screening systems than animal models, thus are proposed to at least partially replace the use of experimental animals. In this regard, specific human cellular disease models, corresponding to alterations in developmental, metabolic, or signaling pathways, are especially useful in pharmacological studies. Genetically engineered stem cells, expressing fluorescence- or luminescence-based reporter constructs, greatly promote high-content or high-throughput drug screening. The expression of drug transporters is highly variable in the different stem cell preparations, and human pluripotent stem cells practically do not express any of the transporters involved in drug metabolism. However, directed and efficient stem cell differentiation allows the production of specific cardiac, neural, liver, or other cell types, resembling their in vivo human counterparts and allowing a direct examination of the function or drug-sensitivity of selected human drug transporters. In this presentation, examples of human pluripotent stem-cell derived cell preparations, also containing fluorescent reporter constructs to facilitate drug screening, are demonstrated.  

About the presenter:


Head of Research Group, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Budapest, Hungary


Balázs Sarkadi, MD, Ph.D., spent several years as a post-doc and then as a visiting scientist at major universities in the United States and Canada. He is research professor at Semmelweis University, member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, past president of FEBS, member of several international research societies including the Academia Europeae. His research has been focusing on membrane proteins, including the investigation of ABC membrane transporters, which play a major role in the multidrug resistance of cancer, in general pharmacology, and in stem cell function. His recent work is related to transporter regulation in cancer cells and stem cells. He has published more than 300 papers in international scientific journals, with a citation number over 13,400 (in WoS, or 18,500 in Google Scholar) and an h-index of 61 (GS 69). He has several international patents already in commercial applications.