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Human Multidrug Transporter ABCG2, a Target for Sensitizing Drug Resistance in Cancer Chemotherapy

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Human ABCG2, a member of the ATP-binding cassette transporter superfamily which transports a wide variety of substrates, is highly expressed in placental syncytiotrophoblasts, in the canalicular membranes of liver, in the apical membrane of the small intestine epithelium, and at the luminal surface of the endothelial cells of human brain micro vessels. This strategic tissue localization indicates that ABCG2 plays an important role in absorption, distribution, and elimination of xenobiotics and drugs. High ABCG2 expression has also been detected in many hematological malignancies and solid tumors, indicating that ABCG2 is likely responsible also for the multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy. Indeed, ABCG2 can actively transport structurally diverse conjugated- or unconjugated-organic molecules and various anticancer drugs. Many chemo-sensitizing agents have been discovered, which can be developed for increasing drug adsorption and reversing drug resistance in cancer chemotherapy by inhibiting ABCG2 function or expression. This review summarizes current knowledge on ABCG2, its relevance to multidrug resistance and drug disposition, and its evergrowing numbers of substrates and inhibitors.
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Keywords: ABC transporter; ABCG2; MDR; chemo-sensitization; drug resistance; inhibitors; oligomerization; substrates

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, IUCC, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1044 W.Walnut St., R4-166, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

Publication date: 01 March 2007

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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