A surface glycoprotein modulating drug permeability in Chinese hamster ovary cell mutants

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1976 Nov 11;455(1):152-62. doi: 10.1016/0005-2736(76)90160-7.


Chinese hamster ovary cells selected for resistance to colchicine display pleiotropic cross-resistance to a wide range of amphiphilic drugs. The drug-resistant phenotype is due to a membrane alteration which reduces the rate of drug permeation. Surface labelling studies reveal that drug-resistant Chinese hamster ovary cell membranes possess a carbohydrate-containing component of 170 000 daltons apparent molecular weight which is not observed in wild type cells. Through studies of the metabolic incorporation of carbohydrate and protein precursors, and through the use of selective proteolysis, this component is shown to be a cell surface glycoprotein. Since this glycoprotein appears unique to mutant cells displaying altered drug permeability, we have designated it the P glycoprotein. The relative amount of surface labelled P glycoprotein correlates with the degree of drug resistance in a number of independent mutant and revertant clones. A similar high molecular weight glycoprotein is also present in drug-resistant mutants from another hamster cell line. Observations on the molecular basis of pleiotropic drug resistance are interpreted in terms of a model wherein certain surface glycoproteins control drug permeation by modulating the properties of hydrophobic membrane regions...

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / drug effects
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane Permeability
  • Colchicine / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Weight


  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Colchicine