The multixenobiotic resistance phenotype is characterized by the reduced accumulation of xenobiotics by cells or organisms due to increased efflux of the compounds by P-glycoprotein (P-gp) or related transporters. An extensive xenobiotic database, consisting primarily of pesticides, was utilized in this study to identify molecular characteristics that render a xenobiotic susceptible to transport by or inhibition of P-gp. Transport substrates were differentiated by several molecular size/shape parameters, lipophilicity, and hydrogen bonding potential. Electrostatic features differentiated inhibitory ligands from compounds not catagorized as transport substrates and that did no interact with P-gp. A two-tiered system was developed using the derived structure-activity relationships to identify P-gp transport substrates and inhibitory ligands. Prediction accuracy of the approach was 82%. We then validated the system using six additional pesticides of which tow were predicted to be P-gp inhibitors and four were predicted to be noninteractors, based upon the structure-activity analyses. Experimental determinations using cells transfected with the human MDR1 gene demonstrated that five of the six pesticides were properly catagorized by the structure-activity analyses (83% accuracy). Finally, structure-activity analyses revealed that among P-gp inhibitors, relative inhibitory potency can be predicted based upon the surface area or volume of the compound. These results demonstrate that P-gp transport substrates and inhibitory ligands can be distinguished using molecular characteristics. Molecular characteristics of transport substrates suggest that P-gp may function in the elimination of hydroxylated metabolites of xenobiotics.