The Journal of biological chemistry

Glutathione stimulates sulfated estrogen transport by multidrug resistance protein 1.

PMID 11102445


Multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) is an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter that transports a range of hydrophobic xenobiotics, as well as relatively hydrophilic organic anion conjugates. The protein is present at high levels in testicular Leydig and Sertoli cells. Studies with knockout mice suggest that MRP1 may protect germ cells from exposure to some cytotoxic xenobiotics, but potential endobiotic substrates in this organ have not been identified. Previously, we have shown certain D-ring, but not A-ring, estrogen glucuronides can act as competitive inhibitors of MRP1 mediated transport, suggesting that they are potential substrates for the protein. In the case of 17 beta-estradiol-17 beta-d-glucuronide, this has been confirmed by direct transport studies. The Leydig cell is the major site of estrogen conjugation in the testis. However, the principal products of conjugation are A-ring estrogen sulfates, which are then effluxed from the cell by an unknown transporter. To determine whether MRP1/mrp1 could fulfill this function, we used membrane vesicles from MRP1-transfected HeLa cells to assess this possibility. We found that estradiol and estrone 3-sulfate alone were poor competitors of MRP1-mediated transport of the cysteinyl leukotriene, leukotriene C(4). However, in the presence of reduced glutathione (GSH), their inhibitory potency was markedly increased. Direct transport studies using [(3)H]estrone 3-sulfate confirmed that the conjugated estrogen could be efficiently transported (K(m) = 0.73 microm, V(max) = 440 pmol mg(-)1 protein min(-)1), but only in the presence of either GSH or the nonreducing alkyl derivative, S-methyl GSH. In contrast to previous studies using vincristine as a substrate, we detected no reciprocal increase in MRP1-mediated GSH transport. These results provide the first example of GSH-stimulated, MRP1-mediated transport of a potential endogenous substrate and expand the range of MRP1 substrates whose transport is stimulated by GSH to include certain hydrophilic conjugated endobiotics, in addition to previously identified hydrophobic xenobiotics.

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β-Estradiol 3-sulfate sodium salt, ≥93%