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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994 Dec 20;91(26):13033-7.

Overexpression of the gene encoding the multidrug resistance-associated protein results in increased ATP-dependent glutathione S-conjugate transport.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands.


The multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP) is a 180- to 195-kDa glycoprotein associated with multidrug resistance of human tumor cells. MRP is mainly located in the plasma membrane and it confers resistance by exporting natural product drugs out of the cell. Here we demonstrate that overexpression of the MRP gene in human cancer cells increases the ATP-dependent glutathione S-conjugate carrier activity in plasma membrane vesicles isolated from these cells. The glutathione S-conjugate export carrier is known to mediate excretion of bivalent anionic conjugates from mammalian cells and is thought to play a role in the elimination of conjugated xenobiotics. Our results suggest that MRP can cause multidrug resistance by promoting the export of drug modification products from cells and they shed light on the reported link between drug resistance and cellular glutathione and glutathione S-transferase levels.

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