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Pharmacogenomics J. 2013 Oct;13(5):396-402. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2012.20. Epub 2012 Jun 5.

Functional characterization of ABCC2 promoter polymorphisms and allele-specific expression.

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Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2, ABCC2) is an efflux membrane transporter highly expressed in liver, kidney and intestine with important physiological and pharmacological roles. The goal of this study was to investigate the functional significance of promoter region polymorphisms in ABCC2 and potential allele-specific expression. Twelve polymorphisms in the 1.6 kb region upstream of the translation start site were identified by resequencing 247 DNA samples from ethnically diverse individuals. Luciferase reporter gene assays showed that ABCC2 -24C>T both alone and as part of a common haplotype (-24C>T/-1019A>G/-1549G>A) increased promoter function 35% compared with the reference sequence (P<0.0001). No other common variants or haplotypes affected ABCC2 promoter activity. Allele-specific expression was also investigated as a mechanism to explain reported associations of the synonymous ABCC2 3972C>T variant with pharmacokinetic phenotypes. In Caucasian liver samples (n=41) heterozygous for the 3972C>T polymorphism, the 3972C allele was preferentially transcribed relative to the 3972T allele (P<0.0001). This allelic imbalance was particularly apparent in samples with haplotypes containing two or three promoter/untranslated region variants (-1549G>A, -1019A>G and -24C>T). The observed allelic imbalance was not associated with hepatic or renal ABCC2 mRNA expression. Additional mechanisms will need to be explored to account for the interindividual variation in ABCC2 expression and MRP2 function.

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