Broer Group - Membrane transport and nutrition

Nutrients are essential for the growth and maintenance of cells and organisms. Membrane transporters are essential to deliver nutrients to cells and tissues and thus play a significant role in the regulation of metabolism. We study the role of amino acid transport in the onset of insulin resistance and the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. Amino acid transport is crucial for growing cells and thus is a target to curtail cancer growth. We are investigating in how far amino acid transport in cancer cells is different from normal cells. In addition to amino acid transport we investigate the role of phospholipid transport in cell development and signalling in the immune system.

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Selected publications

  • Bröer S, Gauthier-Coles G. Amino Acid Homeostasis in Mammalian Cells with a Focus on Amino Acid Transport. J Nutr. 2022 Jan 11;152(1):16-28. doi:
    10.1093/jn/nxab342. PMID: 34718668; PMCID: PMC8754572.

    Gauthier-Coles G, Vennitti J, Zhang Z, Comb WC, Xing S, Javed K, Bröer A, Bröer S. Quantitative modelling of amino acid transport and homeostasis in
    mammalian cells. Nat Commun. 2021 Sep 6;12(1):5282. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25563-x. PMID: 34489418; PMCID: PMC8421413.

    Fairweather SJ, Okada S, Gauthier-Coles G, Javed K, Bröer A, Bröer S. A GC-MS/Single-Cell Method to Evaluate Membrane Transporter Substrate Specificity and
    Signaling. Front Mol Biosci. 2021 Apr 13;8:646574. doi:10.3389/fmolb.2021.646574. PMID: 33928121; PMCID: PMC8076599.

  • Bröer A, Rahimi F, Bröer S. Deletion of Amino Acid Transporter ASCT2 (SLC1A5) Reveals an Essential Role for Transporters SNAT1 (SLC38A1) and SNAT2 (SLC38A2) to Sustain Glutaminolysis in Cancer Cells. J Biol Chem. 2016 Apr 26.
  • Jiang Y, Rose AJ, Sijmonsma TP, Bröer A, Pfenninger A, Herzig S, Schmoll D, Bröer S. Mice lacking neutral amino acid transporter B(0)AT1 (Slc6a19) have elevated levels of FGF21 and GLP-1 and improved glycaemic control. Mol Metab. 2015; 4(5):406-17.
  • Tumer, E., Broer, A., Balkrishna, S., Julich, T. and Broer, S. (2013) Enterocyte-specific regulation of the apical nutrient transporter SLC6A19 (B(0)AT1) by transcriptional and epigenetic networks. The Journal of biological chemistry. 288, 33813-33823
  • Yabas, M., Teh, C. E., Frankenreiter, S., Lal, D., Roots, C. M., Whittle, B., Andrews, D. T., Zhang, Y., Teoh, N. C., Sprent, J., Tze, L. E., Kucharska, E. M., Kofler, J., Farell, G. C., Broer, S., Goodnow, C. C. and Enders, A. (2011) ATP11C is critical for the internalization of phosphatidylserine and differentiation of B lymphocytes. Nat Immunol. 12, 441-449
  • Broer, S. and Palacin, M. (2011) The role of amino acid transporters in inherited and acquired diseases. Biochem J. 436, 193-211
  • Kowalczuk, S., Broer, A., Tietze, N., Vanslambrouck, J. M., Rasko, J. E. and Broer, S. (2008) A protein complex in the brush-border membrane explains a Hartnup disorder allele. Faseb J. 22, 2880-2887
  • Seow, H. F., Broer, S., Broer, A., Bailey, C. G., Potter, S. J., Cavanaugh, J. A. and Rasko, J. E. (2004) Hartnup disorder is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the neutral amino acid transporter SLC6A19. Nat Genet. 36, 1003-1007
  • Broer, A., Klingel, K., Kowalczuk, S., Rasko, J. E., Cavanaugh, J. and Broer, S. (2004) Molecular Cloning of Mouse Amino Acid Transport System B0, a Neutral Amino Acid Transporter Related to Hartnup Disorder. J Biol Chem. 279, 24467-24476.

All publications

Professor Stefan Bröer

'Compounds ANU' forges bonds between chemistry, biology and medical research

Story | Thursday 11 April 2019
Stefan Bröer is looking for the right molecule for a biological target, that could be developed into a drug to treat diabetes. Now ANU has its own library of compounds, available to biological and medical researchers, managed by the Research School of Chemistry.

ARC grant success

Story | Friday 10 November 2017
The Australian National University (ANU) has won $24 million in Australian Research Council (ARC) funding for 58 research projects across the University. 

How a rare disorder can lead to possible treatments for type 2 diabetes

Story | Thursday 9 February 2017
Hartnup disorder is a rare disorder that is caused by an inability to absorb the breakdown products of protein digestion, namely amino acids. In 2004, Stefan Bröer’s group discovered the gene that is mutated in Hartnup disorder, a transporter that mediates the absorption of amino acids in the intestine and kidney.
Tze How Goh

The degree so good, you’ll never want it to end

Story | Thursday 8 December 2016
Honours student Tze How Goh, enriches his studies by researching diabetes treatments.

Big Questions in Biology - podcast now available

Story | Tuesday 6 September 2016
Did you miss the inaugural RSB public forum? Click here to listen

Starving cancer the key to new treatments

Story | Monday 9 May 2016
RSB researchers have found a vital supply route that cancer cells use to obtain their nutrients, in a discovery that could lead to new treatments to stop the growth of tumours.

Diabetes Australia grant awarded to Stefan Broer

Story | Tuesday 17 November 2015

New target to treat type 2 diabetes

Story | Friday 15 May 2015
Australian researchers have discovered a link between protein intake and improved control of blood glucose in mice, opening the way for potential new treatments for type 2 diabetes in humans.

RSB Student Conference 2014

Story | Thursday 4 December 2014

ARC Discovery projects and DECRA fellowships

Story | Monday 17 November 2014