, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 19-29
Date: 27 Oct 2012

P-Glycoprotein Expression and Regulation

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P-Glycoprotein is a member of a superfamily of adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette transporter proteins and plays an important role in multidrug resistance in cancer cells. P-Glycoprotein is known to transport a wide variety of substances ranging from ions to peptides. P-Glycoprotein is expressed on a variety of normal cells, however its physiological function is unclear. The apical and polar distribution on secretory cells suggests a secretory role for P-glycoprotein. More recently, cells of the immune system have been shown to express P-glycoprotein. There is evidence to suggest that P-glycoprotein may play a role in the secretion of certain cytokines (especially those lacking signal sequence) and cytotoxic molecules. In this article, the basic structure, gene regulation and expression of P-glycoprotein are reviewed. Furthermore, age-related changes in the expression of P-glycoprotein and potential effects on drug therapy in the elderly are discussed.