Multidrug resistance mediated by the breast cancer resistance protein BCRP (ABCG2)

L Austin Doyle, Douglas D Ross


Observations of functional adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent drug efflux in certain multidrug-resistant cancer cell lines without overexpression of P-glycoprotein or multidrug resistance protein (MRP) family members suggested the existence of another ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter capable of causing cancer drug resistance. In one such cell line (MCF-7/AdrVp), the overexpression of a novel member of the G subfamily of ABC transporters was found. The new transporter was termed the breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), because of its identification in MCF-7 human breast carcinoma cells. BCRP is a 655 amino-acid polypeptide, formally designated as ABCG2. Like all members of the ABC G (white) subfamily, BCRP is a half transporter. Transfection and enforced overexpression of BCRP in drug-sensitive MCF-7 or MDA-MB-231 cells recapitulates the drug-resistance phenotype of MCF-7/AdrVp cells, consistent with current evidence suggesting that functional BCRP is a homodimer. BCRP maps to chromosome 4q22, downstream from a TATA-less promoter. The spectrum of anticancer drugs effluxed by BCRP includes mitoxantrone, camptothecin-derived and indolocarbazole topoisomerase I inhibitors, methotrexate, flavopiridol, and quinazoline E...Continue Reading


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