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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2006 Aug;27(8):438-46. Epub 2006 Jul 3.

Transport of glutathione and glutathione conjugates by MRP1.

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Division of Cancer Biology and Genetics, Cancer Research Institute, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada.


Glutathione (GSH)-conjugated xenobiotics and GSH-conjugated metabolites (e.g. the cysteinyl leukotriene C4) must be exported from the cells in which they are formed before they can be eliminated from the body or act on their cellular targets. This efflux is often mediated by the multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) transporter, which also confers drug resistance to tumour cells and can protect normal cells from toxic insults. In addition to drugs and GSH conjugates, MRP1 exports GSH and GSH disulfide, and might thus have a role in cellular responses to oxidative stress. The transport of several drugs and conjugated organic anions by MRP1 requires the presence of GSH, but it is not well understood how GSH (and its analogues) enhances transport. Site-directed mutagenesis studies and biophysical analyses have provided important insights into the structural determinants of MRP1 that influence GSH and GSH conjugate binding and transport.

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