Ochratoxin A transport by the human breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2), and organic anion-transporting polypeptides 1A2, 1B1 and 2B1

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Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a fungal secondary metabolite that can contaminate various foods. OTA has several toxic effects like nephrotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, and neurotoxicity in different animal species, but its mechanisms of toxicity are still unclear. How OTA accumulates in kidney, liver, and brain is as yet unknown, but transmembrane transport proteins are likely involved. We studied transport of OTA in vitro, using polarized MDCKII cells transduced with cDNAs of the efflux transporters mouse (m)Bcrp, human (h)BCRP, mMrp2, or hMRP2, and HEK293 cells overexpressing cDNAs of the human uptake transporters OATP1A2, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, or OATP2B1 at pH 7.4 and 6.4. MDCKII-mBcrp cells were more resistant to OTA toxicity than MDCKII parental and hBCRP-transduced cells. Transepithelial transport experiments showed some apically directed transport by MDCKII-mBcrp cells at pH 7.4, whereas both mBcrp and hBCRP clearly transported OTA at pH 6.4. There was modest transport of OTA by mMrp2 and hMRP2 only at pH 6.4. OATP1A2 and OATP2B1 mediated uptake of OTA both at pH 7.4 and 6.4, but OATP1B1 only at pH 7.4. There was no detectable transport of OTA by OATP1B3. Our data indicate that human BCRP and MRP2 can mediate elimination of OTA from cells, thus reducing OTA toxicity. On the other hand, human OATP1A2, OATP1B1, and OATP2B1 can mediate cellular uptake of OTA, which could aggravate OTA toxicity.

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