Substrate overlap between Mrp4 and Abcg2/Bcrp affects purine analogue drug cytotoxicity and tissue distribution

Kazumasa Takenaka, Jessica A. Morgan, George L. Scheffer, Masashi Adachi, Clinton F. Stewart, Daxi Sun, Markos Leggas, Karin F.K. Ejendal, Christine A. Hrycyna, John D. Schuetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


The use of probe substrates and combinations of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter knockout (KO) animals may facilitate the identification of common substrates between apparently unrelated ABC transporters. An unexpectedly low concentration of the purine nucleotide analogue, 9-(2-(phosphonomethoxy) ethyl)-adenine (PMEA), and up-regulation of Abcg2 in some tissues of the Mrp4 KO mouse prompted us to evaluate the possibility that Abcg2 might transport purine-derived drugs. Abcg2 transported and conferred resistance to PMEA. Moreover, a specific Abcg2 inhibitor, fumitremorgin C, both increased PMEA accumulation and reversed Abcg2-mediated PMEA resistance. We developed Mrp4 and Abcg2 double KO mice and used both single KOs of Abcg2 and Mrp4 mice to assess the role of these transporters in vivo. Abcg2 contributed to PMEA accumulation in a variety of tissues, but in some tissues, this contribution was only revealed by the concurrent absence of Mrp4. Abcg2 also transported and conferred resistance to additional purine analogues, such as the antineoplastic, 2-chloro-2¶-deoxyadenosine (cladribine) and puromycin, a protein synthesis inhibitor that is often used as a dominant selectable marker. Purine analogues interact with ABCG2 by a site distinct from the prazosin binding site as shown by their inability to displace the substrate analogue and photoaffinity tag [125I]iodoarylazidoprazosin. These studies show that Abcg2, like Mrp4, transports and confers resistance to purine nucleoside analogues and suggest that these two transporters work in parallel to affect drug cytotoxicity and tissue distribution. This new knowledge will facilitate an understanding of how Abcg2 and Mrp4, separately and in combination, protect against purine analogue host toxicity as well as resistance to chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6965-6972
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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