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FEBS Lett. 2004 Jun 1;567(1):116-20.

ABCG2 -- a transporter for all seasons.

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National Medical Center, Institute of Haematology and Immunology, Membrane Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Diószegi u. 64, H-1113 Budapest, Hungary.


The human ABCG2 (ABCP/MXR/BCRP) protein is a recently recognized ABC half-transporter, which forms homodimers in the plasma membrane and actively extrudes a wide variety of chemically unrelated compounds from the cells. This protein protects our cells and tissues against various xenobiotics, with a crucial role in the intestine, liver, placenta, and the blood-brain barrier. Moreover, ABCG2 seems to have a key function in stem cell protection/regulation, and also in hypoxic defense mechanisms. Widely occurring single nucleotide polymorphisms in ABCG2 may affect absorption and distribution, altering the effectiveness and toxicity of drugs in large populations. At the clinics, overexpression of ABCG2 in tumor cells confers cancer multidrug resistance to a variety of newly developed anticancer agents. On the other hand, specific substrate mutants of ABCG2 are advocated for use as selectable markers in stem-cell based gene therapy.

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