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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Dec 10;325(2):580-5.

Thapsigargin or curcumin does not promote maturation of processing mutants of the ABC transporters, CFTR, and P-glycoprotein.

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Department of Medicine and Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Canada.


Misprocessed plasma membrane proteins of CFTR and P-glycoprotein (P-gp) are retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by molecular chaperones. Depletion of the calcium stores in the ER by the SERCA calcium pump inhibitors thapsigargin or curcumin inhibits these interactions and allows the protein to be trafficked to the plasma membrane [Nat. Med. 8 (2002) 485; Science 304 (2004) 600]. We tested this hypothesis by treating various cell lines expressing misprocessed mutants of CFTR or P-gp with thapsigargin or curcumin. Conversion of the immature core-glycosylated protein to mature product was detected by immunoblot analysis of whole cell extracts. Mature product was not detected in any of the misprocessed mutants. By contrast, all misprocessed P-gp mutants were rescued by the chemical chaperone/drug substrate cyclosporin A in a dose-dependent manner. These results show that thapsigargin or curcumin is not effective in rescuing misprocessed mutants of P-gp and CFTR.

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