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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2003 Jan 21;55(1):3-29.

Mammalian drug efflux transporters of the ATP binding cassette (ABC) family: an overview.

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Division of Experimental Therapy, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Active drug efflux transporters of the ATP binding cassette (ABC)-containing family of proteins have a major impact on the pharmacological behavior of most of the drugs in use today. Pharmacological properties affected by ABC transporters include the oral bioavailability, hepatobiliary, direct intestinal, and urinary excretion of drugs and drug-metabolites and -conjugates. Moreover, the penetration of drugs into a range of important pharmacological sanctuaries, such as brain, testis, and fetus, and the penetration into specific cell- and tissue compartments can be extensively limited by ABC transporters. These interactions with ABC transporters determine to a large extent the clinical usefulness, side effects and toxicity risks of drugs. Many other xenotoxins, (pre-)carcinogens and endogenous compounds are also influenced by the ABC transporters, with corresponding consequences for the well-being of the individual. We aim to provide an overview of properties of the mammalian ABC transporters known to mediate significant transport of clinically relevant drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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