Breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) is a member of ATP-binding cassette transporters that has an N-terminal ATP binding domain and a C-terminal transmembrane domain (TM). Expression of wild-type BCRP confers resistance to multiple chemotherapeutic agents such as mitoxantrone, SN-38 and topotecan, but not to doxorubicin. We made 32 BCRP mutants with an amino acid substitution in the TMs (7 E446-mutants in TM2, 15 R482-mutants in TM3, 4 N557-mutants in TM5 and 6 H630-mutants in TM6) and examined the effect of the substitutions on cellular drug resistance. PA317 cells transfected with any one of the 7 E446-mutant BCRP cDNAs did not show drug resistance. Cells transfected with any one of the 13 R482X2-BCRP cDNAs (X2 = N, C, M, S, T, V, A, G, E, W, D, Q and H, but not Y and K) showed higher resistance to mitoxantrone and doxorubicin than the wild-type BCRP-transfected cells. Cells transfected with N557D-BCRP cDNA showed similar resistance to mitoxantrone but lower resistance to SN-38 than the wild-type BCRP-transfected cells. Cells transfected with N557E-, H630E- or H630L-BCRP cDNA showed similar degrees of resistance to mitoxantrone and SN-38. Estrone and fumitremorgin C reversed the drug resistance of cells transfected with R482-, N557- or H630-mutant BCRP cDNA. Cells transfected with R482G- or R482S-SCRP cDNA showed less intracellular accumulation of [3H]mitoxantrone than the wild-type BCRP-transfected cells. These results suggest that E446 in TM2, R482 in TM3, N557 in TM5 and H630 in TM6 play important roles in drug recognition of BCRP.
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