Identification of domains participating in the substrate specificity and subcellular localization of the multidrug resistance proteins MRP1 and MRP2

Toshikazu Konno, Takuya Ebihara, Keiji Hisaeda, Takeshi Uchiumi, Takanori Nakamura, Takayuki Shirakusa, Michihiko Kuwano, Morimasa Wada

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The human multidrug resistance protein MRP1 and its homolog, MRP2, are both thought to be involved in cancer drug resistance and the transport of a wide variety of organic anions, including the cysteinyl leukotriene C4 (LTC4) (Km = 0.1 and 1 μM). To determine which domain of these proteins is associated with substrate specificity and subcellular localization, we constructed various chimeric MRP1/MRP2 molecules and expressed them in polarized mammalian LLC-PK1 cells. We examined the kinetic properties of each chimeric protein by measuring LTC4 and methotrexate transport in inside-out membrane vesicles, sensitivity to an anticancer agent, etoposide, and subcellular localization by indirect immunofluorescence methods. The following results were determined in these studies: (i) when the NH2-proximal 108 amino acids of MRP2, including transmembrane (TM) helices 1-3, were exchanged with the corresponding region of MRP1, Km(LTC4) values of the chimera decreased ∼4-fold and Km(methotrexate) values increased ∼5-fold relative to those of wild-type MRP2 and MRP1, respectively, whereas resistance to etoposide increased ∼3-fold; (ii) when the NH2-proximal region up to TM9 of MRP2 was exchanged with the corresponding region of MRP1, a further increase in etoposide resistance was observed, and subcellular localization moved from the apical to the lateral membrane; (iii) when two-thirds of MRP2 at the NH2 terminus were exchanged with the corresponding MRP1 region, the chimeric protein transported LTC4 with an efficiency comparable with that achieved by the wild-type MRP1; and (iv) exchange of the COOH-terminal 51 amino acids between MRP1 and MRP2 did not affect the localization of either of the proteins. These results provide a strong framework for further studies aimed at determining the precise domains of MRP1 and MRP2 with affinity for LTC4 and anticancer agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22908-22917
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 2003


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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