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Binding Site Interactions of Modulators of Breast Cancer Resistance Protein, Multidrug Resistance-Associated Protein 2, and P‑Glycoprotein Activity

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journal contribution
posted on 18.06.2020, 13:33 by Feng Deng, Leo Ghemtio, Evgeni Grazhdankin, Peter Wipf, Henri Xhaard, Heidi Kidron
ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-transporters protect tissues by pumping their substrates out of the cells in many physiological barriers, such as the blood–brain barrier, intestine, liver, and kidney. These substrates include various endogenous metabolites, but, in addition, ABC transporters recognize a wide range of compounds, therefore affecting the disposition and elimination of clinically used drugs and their metabolites. Although numerous ABC-transporter inhibitors are known, the underlying mechanism of inhibition is not well characterized. The aim of this study is to deepen our understanding of transporter inhibition by studying the molecular basis of ligand recognition. In the current work, we compared the effect of 44 compounds on the active transport mediated by three ABC transporters: breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP and ABCG2), multidrug-resistance associated protein (MRP2 and ABCC2), and P-glycoprotein (P-gp and ABCB1). Eight compounds were strong inhibitors of all three transporters, while the activity of 36 compounds was transporter-specific. Of the tested compounds, 39, 25, and 11 were considered as strong inhibitors, while 1, 4, and 11 compounds were inactive against BCRP, MRP2, and P-gp, respectively. In addition, six transport-enhancing stimulators were observed for P-gp. In order to understand the observed selectivity, we compared the surface properties of binding cavities in the transporters and performed structure–activity analysis and computational docking of the compounds to known binding sites in the transmembrane domains and nucleotide-binding domains. Based on the results, the studied compounds are more likely to interact with the transmembrane domain than the nucleotide-binding domain. Additionally, the surface properties of the substrate binding site in the transmembrane domains of the three transporters were in line with the observed selectivity. Because of the high activity toward BCRP, we lacked the dynamic range needed to draw conclusions on favorable interactions; however, we identified amino acids in both P-gp and MRP2 that appear to be important for ligand recognition.