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The Non-ABC Drug Transporter RLIP76 (RALBP-1) Plays a Major Role in the Mechanisms of Drug Resistance

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RLIP76 or Ral binding protein (RalBP-1) was initially cloned as a Ral-effector that was proposed as a link between Ral and Ras pathways. This protein is encoded in humans on chromosome 18p11.3 by a gene with 11 exons and 9 introns and is found ubiquitously from drosophila to humans. RLIP76 displays inhibitory GTPase activity toward Rho/Rac class G-protein cdc42 which is involved in regulation of cytoskeletal organization, lamellipodia, cell migration and apoptosis via Ras. We have recently shown that RLIP76 is also a multispecific transporter of chemotherapeutic agents and glutathione conjugates (GS-E). In human cells RLIP76 accounts for more than two third of the transport activity for GS-E and drugs as opposed to the ABC-transporters including MRP1, which account for less than one third of this activity. Evidence is mounting that RLIP76 is a stress-responsive multi-specific, non-ABC transporter which represents an entirely novel link between stress-inducible G-protein signaling, receptor tyrosine-kinase signaling, endocytosis, heat-shock and stress defense pathways, and transport mediated drug-resistance. The expression of RLIP76 is significantly greater in human cancer cells of diverse origin as compared to the non-malignant cells. Inhibition of RLIP76, using antibodies towards a cell surface epitope, or depletion of RLIP76 using either siRNA or anti-sense phosphorothioate oligonucleotides preferentially causes apoptosis in malignant cells. Administration of RLIP76 antibodies, siRNA, or anti-sense oligonucleotides to mice bearing syngeneic B16 mouse melanoma tumors causes rapid and complete regression of tumors. Studies summarized in this review strongly suggest that RLIP76 is a logical target for clinical intervention of not only multi-drug resistance but also for diseases resulting from oxidative stress.

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Keywords: ABCG transporters; Cell cycle regulatory protein; Proteoliposomes; Stress Response; oxidized GSH

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 551-Basic Science Bldg., University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX 77555-0647, USA.

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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