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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Feb;1778(2):376-91. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

Structure-based interpretation of the mutagenesis database for the nucleotide binding domains of P-glycoprotein.

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  • 1School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK.


P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is the most intensively studied eukaryotic ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter, due to its involvement in the multidrug resistance phenotype of a number of cancers. In common with most ABC transporters, P-gp is comprised of two transmembrane domains (TMDs) and two nucleotide binding domains (NBD), the latter coupling ATP hydrolysis with substrate transport (efflux in the case of P-gp). Biochemical investigations over the past twenty years have attempted to unlock mechanistic aspects of P-glycoprotein through scanning and site-directed mutagenesis of both the TMDs and the NBDs. Contemporaneously, crystallographers have elucidated the atomic structure of numerous ABC transporter NBDs, as well as the intact structure (i.e. NBDs and TMDs) of a distantly related ABC-exporter Sav1866. Significantly, the structure of P-gp remains unknown, and only low resolution electron microscopy data exists. Within the current manuscript we employ crystallographic data for homologous proteins, and a molecular model for P-gp, to perform a structural interpretation of the existing "mutagenesis database" for P-gp NBDs. Consequently, this will enable testable predictions to be made that will result in further in-roads into our understanding of this clinically important drug pump.

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