ABCG2 [also known as BCRP (breast cancer resistance protein) or MXR] is an ABC (ATP-binding cassette) protein shown to confer multidrug resistance. ABCG2 was initially identified in resistant breast carcinoma cells (MCF-7/AdrVp1000) selected with doxorubicin and verapamil. Later studies demonstrated the presence of a point mutation (Arg482 to Thr) in ABCG2 in MCF-7/AdrVp1000 cells. This mutation was shown to modulate the transport of Rh123 (rhodamine 123). In the present study, we have used a previously characterized photoreactive drug analogue of Rh123, IAARh123 (iodoaryl-azido-Rh123), to examine the effects of the Arg482Thr mutation on Rh123 binding and transport by ABCG2. Our results show that both wild-type (ABCG2R482) and mutant (ABCG2T482) ABCG2 bound directly to IAARh123. Surprisingly, however, wild-type ABCG2R482, which does not transport Rh123, was more intensely photolabelled than mutant ABCG2T482. In addition, inhibition of IAARh123 photolabelling using various drug substrates of ABCG2 revealed some differences between wild-type and mutant ABCG2. For example, a molar excess of mitoxantrone was more effective at inhibiting IAARh123 labelling of wild-type than of mutant ABCG2, while excess cisplatin, taxol and methotrexate showed significant inhibition of IAARh123 binding to both wild-type and mutant ABCG2. Taken together, the results of this study provide the first demonstration of the direct binding of drugs to ABCG2.