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J Biol Chem. 1992 Mar 25;267(9):5731-4.

Peptide transport by the multidrug resistance pump.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, California 94305-5020.


The membrane P-glycoprotein (P170) is an ATP-hydrolyzing transmembrane pump, and elevated levels of P170, due to higher expression with or without amplification of the multidrug resistance gene (mdr1), result in resistance to a variety of chemotherapeutic agents in mammalian cells. The function of the P170 pump has been proposed as a protection against toxic substances present in animal diets. Here we describe a Chinese hamster ovary cell line that was selected for resistance to a synthetic tripeptide, N-acetyl-leucyl-leucyl-norleucinal (ALLN). This ALLN-resistant variant shows the classical multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype, including overexpression and amplification of the mdr1 gene. Additionally, a mouse embryo cell line overexpressing the transfected mdr1 gene is likewise resistant to ALLN. Our results demonstrate that P170 is capable of transporting peptides and raise the possibility that the mdr1 gene product or other MDR-like genes, present in the genome of mammalian cells, may be involved in secretion of peptides or cellular proteins as is the case with the structurally similar hylB and ste6 gene products of Escherichia coli and yeast, respectively.

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