We employed human red blood cells as a model system to check the affinity of MRP1 (Multi-drug Resistance-associated Protein 1) towards fluorescein and a set of its carboxyl derivatives: 5/6-carboxyfluorescein (CF), 2′,7′-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5/6-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF) and calcein (CAL). We found significant differences in the characteristics of transport of the dyes tested across the erythrocyte membrane. Fluorescein is transported mainly in a passive way, while active efflux systems at least partially contribute to the transport of the other compounds. Inside-out vesicle studies revealed that active transport of calcein is masked by another, ATP-independent, transport activity. Inhibitor profiles of CF and BCECF transport are typical for substrates of organic anion transporters. BCECF is transported mainly via MRP1, as proven by the use of QCRL3, a monoclonal antibody known to specifically inhibit MRP1-mediated transport. Lack of effect of QCRL3 on CF uptake excludes the possibility of MRP1 being a transporter of this dye. No inhibition of CF accumulation by cGMP, thioguanine and 6-mercaptopurine suggests also that this fluorescent marker is not a substrate for MRP5, another ABC transporter identified in the human erythrocyte membrane.
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 25, 2002
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