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Toxicology. 2001 Oct 5;167(1):25-35.

Basal expression of the rat, but not of the human, multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2) gene is mediated by CBF/NF-Y and Sp1 promoter-binding sites.

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Food Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology, University of Kaiserslautern, Erwin-Schroedinger-Strasse 52, D-67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany.


The most important biliary efflux transporter known so far is the multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2). Previously, we isolated and characterized the 5'-flanking region of the rat mrp2 gene. In the present study, we performed site-directed mutagenesis experiments indicating that both a Y-Box and a GC-Box in the rat mrp2 promoter are essential for the full basal expression of the gene, but have no significant relevance for its inducibility by the chemical carcinogen 2-acetylaminofluorene. Gel mobility shift experiments demonstrated the binding of the transcription factor CBF/NF-Y, but not of EFIA/YB-1, to the Y-Box. Site-directed mutations in the Y-Box decreasing reporter gene activity of a promoter construct prevented the binding of NF-Y. Consequently, NF-Y contributes substantially to the basal expression of the gene. A site-directed mutation in the GC-Box also reduced basal expression and resulted in a reduced complex formation with the transcription factor Sp1. The corresponding region of the human MRP2 promoter comprises no Sp1 site, but a Y-Box-like element binding YB-1 but not NF-Y, which, however, does not contribute to basal expression. In conclusion, NF-Y and Sp1 binding sites play a decisive role in the basal expression of the rat mrp2 gene, while the human MRP2 gene is regulated differently.

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