The implications of P-glycoprotein in HIV: friend or foe?

Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2005 Jun;19(3):283-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-8206.2005.00324.x.


P-glycoprotein (P-gp), coded by the ABCB1 gene, has a wide tissue distribution. The drug transporter is known to limit the bioavailability of a plethora of drugs and xenobiotics including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protease inhibitors. There remains a considerable degree of debate in the literature with respect to the role of ABCB1 polymorphisms in HIV-treatment outcome and some studies have also implicated antiretroviral drugs as inducers of P-gp. Recent evidence indicates a role for P-gp in the inhibition of viral infectivity and/or release and cellular relationships with other infection-related proteins (and cholesterol). It is becoming increasingly clear that future studies on P-gp in HIV should consider both pharmacological and virological issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Anti-HIV Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • HIV / drug effects
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / metabolism*
  • Humans


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Carrier Proteins