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Mol Pharmacol. 2001 May;59(5):1171-80.

Modulation of multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1/ABCC1) transport and atpase activities by interaction with dietary flavonoids.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


The 190-kDa phosphoglycoprotein multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) (ABCC1) confers resistance to a broad spectrum of anticancer drugs and also actively transports certain xenobiotics with reduced glutathione (GSH) (cotransport) as well as conjugated organic anions such as leukotriene C(4) (LTC(4)). In the present study, we have investigated a series of bioflavonoids for their ability to influence different aspects of MRP1 function. Most flavonoids inhibited MRP1-mediated LTC(4) transport in membrane vesicles and inhibition by several flavonoids was enhanced by GSH. Five of the flavonoids were competitive inhibitors of LTC(4) transport (K(i), 2.4-21 microM) in the following rank order of potency: kaempferol > apigenin (+ GSH) > quercetin > myricetin > naringenin (+ GSH). These flavonoids were less effective inhibitors of 17beta-estradiol 17beta-(D-glucuronide) transport. Moreover, their rank order of inhibitory potency for this substrate differed from that for LTC(4) transport inhibition but correlated with their relative lipophilicity. Several flavonoids, especially naringenin and apigenin, markedly stimulated GSH transport by MRP1, suggesting they may be cotransported with this tripeptide. Quercetin inhibited the ATPase activity of purified reconstituted MRP1 but stimulated vanadate-induced trapping of 8-azido-alpha-[(32)P]ADP by MRP1. In contrast, kaempferol and naringenin stimulated both MRP1 ATPase activity and trapping of ADP. In intact MRP1-overexpressing cells, quercetin reduced vincristine resistance from 8.9- to 2.2-fold, whereas kaempferol and naringenin had no effect. We conclude that dietary flavonoids may modulate the organic anion and GSH transport, ATPase, and/or drug resistance-conferring properties of MRP1. However, the activity profile of the flavonoids tested differed from one another, suggesting that at least some of these compounds may interact with different sites on the MRP1 molecule.

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