Interaction of hepatocyte nuclear factors in transcriptional regulation of tissue specific hormonal expression of human multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (abcc2)

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2009 Feb 1;234(3):281-92. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2008.10.005. Epub 2008 Oct 29.


Multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) (ABCC2) is an ATP-binding cassette membrane protein located primarily on apical surface of hepatocytes that mediates transport of conjugated xenobiotics and endogenous compounds into bile. MRP2 is highly expressed in hepatocytes, and at lower levels in small intestines, stomach and kidney. Previous reports have characterized mammalian MRP2 promoters, but none have established the molecular mechanism(s) involved in liver enriched expression. This study aims to investigate the mechanism of hepatic MRP2 regulation. A 2130 bp of MRP2 promoter was cloned from PAC-1 clone P108G1-7, to identify putative liver specific/hormone responsive functional DNA binding sites. Using deletion analysis, site specific mutagenesis and co-transfection studies, liver specific expression was determined. MRP2 promoter-LUC constructs were highly expressed in liver cell lines compared to non-liver cells. The region extending from -3 to+458 bp of MRP2 promoter starting from AUG contained the potential binding sites for CAATT box enhancer binding protein (C/EBP), hepatocytes nuclear factor 1, 3 and 4 (HNF1, HNF3, and HNF4. Only HNF1 and HNF4 co-transfection with MRP2 luciferase increased expression. Site specific mutational analysis of HNF1 binding site indicated an important role for HNF1alpha. HNF4alpha induction of MRP2 was independent of HNF1 binding site. C/EBP, HNF3, and HNF6 inhibited HNF1alpha while HNF4alpha induced MRP2 luciferase expression and glucocorticoids stimulated MRP2 expression. This study emphasizes the complex regulation of MRP2 with HNF1alpha and HNF4alpha playing a central role. The coordinated regulation of xenobiotic transporters and oxidative conjugation may determine the adaptive responses to cellular detoxification processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Flanking Region
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • CHO Cells
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha / metabolism
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 / metabolism
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 6 / metabolism
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factors / genetics
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factors / metabolism*
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects*
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein 2
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects*
  • Transfection


  • ABCC2 protein, human
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Abcc2 protein, rat
  • CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 6
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factors
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein 2
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins
  • Dexamethasone