Multidrug resistance protein 4 (MRP4/ABCC4): a versatile efflux transporter for drugs and signalling molecules

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2008 Apr;29(4):200-7. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Mar 18.


Multidrug resistance protein (MRP) 4 is a member of the MRP/ABCC subfamily of ATP-binding cassette transporters, which are capable of pumping a wide variety of endogenous and xenobiotic organic anionic compounds out of the cell. In addition to its role in the body distribution and renal excretion of a wide variety of antiviral, cytostatic, antibiotic and cardiovascular drugs, MRP4/ABCC4 has the remarkable ability to transport molecules involved in cellular signalling. These molecules include cyclic nucleotides, eicosanoids, urate and conjugated steroids. The unique structure, regulation and dual localisation of MRP4 in polarised cells could be connected with a key function in cellular protection and extracellular signalling pathways. This review focuses on recent insights into the versatile transport function of MRP4 and its potential as a new therapeutic target to modulate various pathophysiological signalling processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Communication
  • Cyclic AMP / physiology
  • Cyclic GMP / physiology
  • Eicosanoids / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / chemistry
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Uric Acid / metabolism


  • ABCC4 protein, human
  • Eicosanoids
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins
  • Uric Acid
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Cyclic GMP