Tissue distribution, ontogeny and induction of the transporters Multidrug and toxin extrusion (MATE) 1 and MATE2 mRNA expression levels in mice

Life Sci. 2008 Jul 4;83(1-2):59-64. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2008.05.004. Epub 2008 May 18.


Transporters are expressed in a wide variety of tissues where they perform the critical function of enabling anionic and cationic chemicals of exogenous and endogenous origin to cross otherwise impermeable cell membranes. The Multidrug and toxin extrusion (MATE) transporters mediate cellular efflux of a variety of organic cations, including many drugs. The purpose of the current study was to determine (1) constitutive expression levels of MATE mRNA in various tissues, (2) whether there are gender differences in the expression of MATEs, (3) the ontogenic expression pattern of MATE1 in kidney and (4) whether MATEs are pharmacologically inducible in liver via activation of known transcription factors. In both male and female mice, MATE1 mRNA levels were highest in the kidney, where male expression was higher than female. MATE2 mRNA expression levels were the highest in the testis, where high expression was localized to Sertoli cells, a critical cell type of the blood testis barrier. In female mice, MATE2 mRNA levels were expressed most highly in the colon. The ontogenic pattern of expression of MATE1 mRNA in the kidneys of both males and females was gradual, with levels increasing steadily from prenatal day -2 to 45 days of age, and a gender difference appearing at day 30. Of the transcription factor activators examined (AhR, CAR, Nrf2, PPARalpha and PXR), none were capable of altering MATE1 or MATE2. The current findings support a potential role for MATE1 and MATE2 in a wide range of tissues and, notably, a unique role for MATE2 in the blood-testis barrier.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiporters / biosynthesis*
  • Antiporters / genetics
  • Female
  • Kidney / embryology
  • Kidney / growth & development
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sex Factors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism


  • Antiporters
  • MATE1 protein, mouse
  • MATE2 protein, mouse
  • Organic Cation Transport Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Trans-Activators