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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 1995 Feb;27(1):23-9.

Purification and reconstitution of functional human P-glycoprotein.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


The overexpression of the P-glycoprotein, the MDR1 gene product, has been linked to the development of resistance to multiple cytotoxic natural product anticancer drugs in certain cancers and cell lines derived from tumors. P-glycoprotein, a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily of transporters, is believed to function as an ATP-dependent drug efflux pump with broad specificity for chemically unrelated hydrophobic compounds. We review here recent studies on the purification and reconstitution of P-glycoprotein to elucidate the mechanism of drug transport. P-glycoprotein from the human carcinoma multidrug resistant cell line, KB-V1, was purified by sequential chromatography on anion exchange followed by a lectin (wheat germ agglutinin) column. Proteoliposomes reconstituted with pure protein exhibited high levels of drug-stimulated ATPase activity as well as ATP-dependent [3H]vinblastine accumulation. Both the ATPase and vinblastine transport activities of the reconstituted P-glycoprotein were inhibited by vanadate. In addition, the vinblastine transport was inhibited by verapamil and daunorubicin. These studies provide strong evidence that the human P-glycoprotein functions as an ATP-dependent drug transporter. The development of the reconstitution system and the availability of recombinant protein in large amounts due to recent advances in overexpression of P-glycoprotein in a heterologous expression system should facilitate a better understanding of the function of this novel protein.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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