The interaction of gut microbes with host ABC transporters

Gut Microbes. 2010 Sep;1(5):301-306. doi: 10.4161/gmic.1.5.12925. Epub 2010 Jul 8.


ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters are increasingly recognized for their ability to modulate the absorption, distribution, metabolism, secretion and toxicity of xenobiotics. In addition to their essential function in drug resistance, there is also emerging evidence documenting the important role ABC transporters play in tissue defense. In this respect, the gastrointestinal tract represents a critical vanguard of defense against oral exposure of drugs while at the same time functions as a physical barrier between the lumenal contents (including bacteria) and the intestinal epithelium. Given emerging evidence suggesting that multidrug resistance protein (MDR) plays an important role in host-bacterial interactions in the gastrointestinal tract, this review will discuss the interplay between MDR of the intestinal epithelial cell barrier and gut microbes in health and disease. In particular, we will explore host-microbe interactions involving three apically restricted ABC transporters of the intestinal epithelium; P-glycoprotein (P-gp), multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) and cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR).