Drosophila melanogaster p-glycoprotein: a membrane detoxification system toward polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollutants

Environ Toxicol Chem. 2006 Feb;25(2):572-80. doi: 10.1897/04-425.1.


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are well-known ubiquitous environmental contaminants. Permeability glycoprotein (P-gp) is a transmembrane detoxification efflux pump transporting various lipophilic xenobiotics, such as PAHs, out of the cells. The existence of a P-gp detoxification system inducible by PAHs was investigated in Drosophila melanogaster. Western blot experiments showed that D. melanogaster expressed a 140-kDa P-gp in S12 cells, embryos, and adult flies. Permeability glycoprotein was expressed in adult flies in the head, abdomen, and thorax and sublocalized in the sexual and olfactory organs. Flow cytometry experiments using Drosophila S12 cells in the presence of PAHs and target P-gp drug compounds revealed that Drosophila P-gp acted as an efflux detoxification pump. In Drosophila exposed to benzo[a]pyrene or to ambient air polluted by higher or lower PAH concentrations, P-gp expression was clearly showed a dose-dependent increase response. The P-gp induction was detected both in adult flies and in different fly parts, such as the head, thorax, and antennae. Drosophila P-gp acts as a membrane barrier against PAH pollutants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / physiology*
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Environmental Pollutants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Inactivation, Metabolic
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / pharmacokinetics*


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons