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J Physiol. 2000 May 1;524 Pt 3:629-36.

Regulation of volume-activated chloride channels by P-glycoprotein: phosphorylation has the final say!

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School of Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, University of St Andrews, North Haugh, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9ST, Scotland, UK.


P-glycoprotein (Pgp) is a transmembrane transporter causing efflux of a number of chemically unrelated drugs and is responsible for resistance to a variety of anticancer drugs during chemotherapy. Pgp overexpression in cells is also associated with volume-activated chloride channel activity; Pgp is thought to regulate such activity. Reversible phosphorylation is a possible mechanism for regulating the transport and chloride channel regulation functions of Pgp. Protein kinase C (PKC) is a good candidate for inducing such phosphorylation. Hierarchical multiple phosphorylation (e.g. of different serines and with different PKC isoforms) may shuttle the protein between its different states of activity (transport or channel regulation). Cell volume changes may trigger phosphorylation of Pgp at sites causing inhibition of transport. The possible regulation of chloride channels by Pgp and the potential involvement of reversible phosphorylation in such regulation is reviewed.

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