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J Biol Chem. 2001 Sep 7;276(36):33747-54. Epub 2001 Jul 10.

Transport of cyclic nucleotides and estradiol 17-beta-D-glucuronide by multidrug resistance protein 4. Resistance to 6-mercaptopurine and 6-thioguanine.

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  • 1Medical Science Division, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.


Human multidrug resistance protein 4 (MRP4) has recently been determined to confer resistance to the antiviral purine analog 9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl)adenine and methotrexate. However, neither its substrate selectivity nor physiological functions have been determined. Here we report the results of investigations of the in vitro transport properties of MRP4 using membrane vesicles prepared from insect cells infected with MRP4 baculovirus. It is shown that expression of MRP4 is specifically associated with the MgATP-dependent transport of cGMP, cAMP, and estradiol 17-beta-D-glucuronide (E(2)17 beta G). cGMP, cAMP, and E(2)17 beta G are transported with K(m) and V(max) values of 9.7 +/- 2.3 microm and 2.0 +/- 0.3 pmol/mg/min, 44.5 +/- 5.8 microm and 4.1 +/- 0.4 pmol/mg/min, and 30.3 +/- 6.2 microm and 102 +/- 16 pmol/mg/min, respectively. Consistent with its ability to transport cyclic nucleotides, it is demonstrated that the MRP4 drug resistance profile extends to 6-mercaptopurine and 6-thioguanine, two anticancer purine analogs that are converted in the cell to nucleotide analogs. On the basis of its capacity to transport cyclic nucleotides and E(2)17 beta G, it is concluded that MRP4 may influence diverse cellular processes regulated by cAMP and cGMP and that its substrate range is distinct from that of any other characterized MRP family member.

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