The products of the ABC gene family can be generally classified as either full-transporters of half-transporters. Full-transporters are expressed in the plasma membrane, whereas half-transporters are usually found in intracellular membranes. Recently, an ABC half-transporter, the ABCG2 gene product Breast Cancer/Mitoxantrone Resistance Protein (BCRP/MXR), has been shown to cause mitoxantrone and topotecan resistance. The purpose of this study was to determine the expression and the intracellular localization of this protein in various drug-resistant cell lines. BCRP/MXR expression was determined by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. This protein is highly overexpressed in several drug-resistant cell lines and localizes predominantly to the plasma membrane, instead of to intracellular membranes as seen with all other known half-transporters. Therefore, BCRP/MXR is unique among the ABC half-transporters by being localized to the plasma membrane.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.