Mammalian Mrp2 and its yeast orthologue, Ycf1p, mediate the ATP-dependent cellular export of a variety of organic anions. Ycf1p also appears to transport the endogenous tripeptide glutathione (GSH), whereas no ATP-dependent GSH transport has been detected in Mrp2-containing mammalian plasma membrane vesicles. Because GSH uptake measurements in isolated membrane vesicles are normally carried out in the presence of 5-10 mM dithiothreitol (DTT) to maintain the tripeptide in the reduced form, the present study examined the effects of DTT and other sulfhydryl-reducing agents on Ycf1p- and Mrp2-mediated transport activity. Uptake of S-dinitrophenyl glutathione (DNP-SG), a prototypic substrate of both proteins, was measured in Ycf1p-containing Saccharomyces cerevisiae vacuolar membrane vesicles and in Mrp2-containing rat liver canalicular plasma membrane vesicles. Uptake was inhibited in both vesicle systems in a concentration-dependent manner by DTT, dithioerythritol, and beta-mercaptoethanol, with concentrations of 10 mM inhibiting by approximately 40%. DTT's inhibition of DNP-SG transport was noncompetitive. In contrast, ATP-dependent transport of [(3)H]taurocholate, a substrate for yeast Bat1p and mammalian Bsep bile acid transporters, was not significantly affected by DTT. DTT also inhibited the ATP-dependent uptake of GSH by Ycf1p. As the DTT concentration in incubation solutions containing rat liver canalicular plasma membrane vesicles was gradually decreased, ATP-dependent GSH transport was now detected. These results demonstrate that Ycf1p and Mrp2 are inhibited by concentrations of reducing agents that are normally employed in studies of GSH transport. When this inhibition was partially relieved, ATP-dependent GSH transport was detected in rat liver canalicular plasma membranes, indicating that both Mrp2 and Ycf1p are able to transport GSH by an ATP-dependent mechanism.