Molecular evidence and functional expression of multidrug resistance associated protein (MRP) in rabbit corneal epithelial cells


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Abstract

Multidrug resistance associated protein (MRP) is a major family of efflux transporters involved in drug efflux leading to drug resistance. The objective of this study was to explore physical barriers for ocular drug absorption and to verify if the role of efflux transporters. MRP-2 is a major homologue of MRP family and found to express on the apical side of cell membrane. Cultured Rabbit Corneal Epithelial Cells (rCEC) were selected as an in vitro model for corneal epithelium. [14C]-erythromycin which is a proven substrate for MRP-2 was selected as a model drug for functional expression studies. MK-571, a known specific and potent inhibitor for MRP-2 was added to inhibit MRP mediated efflux. Membrane fraction of rCEC was used for western blot analysis. Polarized transport of [14C]-erythromycin was observed in rCEC and transport from B → A was significantly high than from A → B. Permeability's increased significantly from A → B in the presence of MK-571 and ketoconozole. Uptake of [14C]-erythromycin in the presence of MK-571 was significantly higher than control in rCEC. RT-PCR analysis indicated a unique and distinct band at ∼498 bp corresponding to MRP-2 in rCEC and MDCK11-MRP-2 cells. Immunoprecipitation followed by Western Blot analysis indicated a specific band at ∼190 kDa in membrane fraction of rCEC and MDCK11-MRP-2 cells. For the first time we have demonstrated high expression of MRP-2 in rabbit corneal epithelium and its functional activity causing drug efflux. RT-PCR, immunoprecipitation followed by Western blot analysis further confirms the result.

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