Organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1/SLC22A6, NKT) is a multispecific drug transporter in the kidney with numerous substrates, including pharmaceuticals, endogenous metabolites, natural products, and uremic toxins. Here, we show that OAT1 regulates levels of gut microbiome–derived metabolites. We depleted the gut microbiome of Oat1-KO and WT mice and performed metabolomics to analyze the effects of genotype (KO versus WT) and microbiome depletion. OAT1 is an in vivo intermediary between the host and the microbes, with 40 of the 162 metabolites dependent on the gut microbiome also impacted by loss of Oat1. Chemoinformatic analysis revealed that the altered metabolites (e.g., indoxyl sulfate, p-cresol sulfate, deoxycholate) had more ring structures and sulfate groups. This indicates a pathway from gut microbes to liver phase II metabolism, to renal OAT1–mediated transport. The idea that multiple gut-derived metabolites directly interact with OAT1 was confirmed by in vitro transport and magnetic bead binding assays. We show that gut microbiome–derived metabolites dependent on OAT1 are impacted in a chronic kidney disease (CKD) model and human drug-metabolite interactions. Consistent with the Remote Sensing and Signaling Theory, our results support the view that drug transporters (e.g., OAT1, OAT3, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, MRP2, MRP4, ABCG2) play a central role in regulating gut microbe–dependent metabolism, as well as interorganismal communication between the host and microbiome.


Jeffry C. Granados, Vladimir Ermakov, Koustav Maity, David R. Vera, Geoffrey Chang, Sanjay K. Nigam


Download this citation for these citation managers:

Or, download this citation in these formats:

If you experience problems using these citation formats, send us feedback.