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Kidney Int. 2008 Jan;73(2):220-5. Epub 2007 Oct 31.

The breast cancer resistance protein transporter ABCG2 is expressed in the human kidney proximal tubule apical membrane.

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Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP/ABCG2) is a transporter restricting absorption and enhancing excretion of many compounds including anticancer drugs. This transporter is highly expressed in many tissues; however, in human kidney, only the mRNA was found in contrast to the mouse kidney, where the transporter is abundant. In bcrp/abcg2((-/-)) mice, the expression of two sterol transporter genes, abcg5 and abcg8, was strongly increased in the kidney, perhaps as a compensatory mechanism to upregulate efflux. We found using immunohistochemical analysis clear localization of BCRP/ABCG2 to the proximal tubule brush border membrane of the human kidney comparable to that of other ABC transporters such as P-glycoprotein/ABCB1, MRP2/ABCC2, and MRP4/ABCC4. Hoechst 33342 dye efflux from primary human proximal tubule cells was significantly reduced by the BCRP/ABCG2 inhibitors fumitremorgin C and nelfinavir. Our study shows that in addition to other apical ABC transporters, BCRP/ABCG2 may be important in renal drug excretion.

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