Biometals

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 349–358

The ABC Transporter Abcg2/Bcrp: Role in Hypoxia Mediated Survival

Article

Abstract

ABC (ATP-binding cassette) transporters have diverse roles in many cellular processes. These diverse roles require the presence of conserved membrane spanning domains and nucleotide binding domains. Bcrp (Abcg2) is a member of the ATP binding cassette family of plasma membrane transporters that was originally discovered for its ability to confer drug resistance in tumor cells. Subsequent studies showed Bcrp expression in normal tissues and high expression in primitive stem cells. Bcrp expression is induced under low oxygen conditions consistent with its high expression in tissues exposed to low oxygen environments. Moreover, Bcrp interacts with heme and other porphyrins. This finding and its regulation by hypoxia suggests it may play a role in protecting cells/tissue from protoporphyrin accumulation under hypoxia. These observations are strengthened by the fact that porphyrins accumulate in tissues of the Bcrp knockout mouse. It is possible that humans with loss of function Bcrp alleles may be more susceptible to porphyrin-induced phototoxicity. We propose that Bcrp plays a role in porphyrin homoeostasis and regulates survival under low oxygen conditions.

Keywords

ABC-transporter BCRP hypoxia heme porphyrins 

Abbreviations

ABC

ATP binding cassette

BSEP

Bile salt export pump

Bcrp

Breast cancer resistance protein

CFTR

Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator

DFO

Desferoxamine

HIF

Hypoxia inducible factor

NBD

Nucleotide-binding domain

PFIC

Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis

PPIX

Protoporphyrin IX

SNP

Single nucleotide polymorphism

TMD

Transmembrane domain

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesSt. Jude Children’s Research HospitalMemphisUSA

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