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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jun;276(6 Pt 1):G1493-500.

MRP3, a new ATP-binding cassette protein localized to the canalicular domain of the hepatocyte.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Bile secretion in liver is driven in large part by ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-type proteins that reside in the canalicular membrane and effect ATP-dependent transport of bile acids, phospholipids, and non-bile acid organic anions. Canalicular ABC-type proteins can be classified into two subfamilies based on membrane topology and sequence identity: MDR1, MDR3, and SPGP resemble the multidrug resistance (MDR) P-glycoprotein, whereas MRP2 is similar in structure and sequence to the multidrug resistance protein MRP1 and transports similar substrates. We now report the isolation of the rMRP3 gene from rat liver, which codes for a protein 1522 amino acids in length that exhibits extensive sequence similarity with MRP1 and MRP2. Northern blot analyses indicate that rMRP3 is expressed in lung and intestine of Sprague-Dawley rats as well as in liver of Eisai hyperbilirubinemic rats and TR- mutant rats, which are deficient in MRP2 expression. rMRP3 expression is also transiently induced in liver shortly after birth and during obstructive cholestasis. Antibodies raised against MRP3 recognize a polypeptide of 190-200 kDa, which is reduced in size to 155-165 kDa after treatment with endoglycosidases. Immunoblot analysis and immunoconfocal microscopy indicate that rMRP3 is present in the canalicular membrane, suggesting that it may play a role in bile formation.

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