cGMP and glutathione-conjugate transport in human erythrocytes

The roles of the multidrug resistance-associated proteins, MRP1, MRP4 and MRP5


S. B. Hladky, Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 1PD, UK. Fax: + 44 1223 334040, Tel.: + 44 1223 334019, E-mail:


The nature of cGMP transport in human erythrocytes, its relationship to glutathione conjugate transport, and possible mediation by multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs) have been investigated. MRP1, MRP4 and MRP5 are detected in immunoblotting studies with erythrocytes. MRP1 and MRP5 are also detected in multidrug resistant COR-L23/R and MOR/R cells but at greatly reduced levels in the parent, drug sensitive COR-L23/P cells. MRP4 is detected in MOR/R but not COR-L23/R cells. Uptake of cGMP into inside-out membrane vesicles prepared by a spontaneous, one-step vesiculation process is shown to be by a low affinity system that accounts for more than 80% of the transport at all concentrations above 3 µm. This transport is reduced by MRP inhibitors and substrates including MK-571, methotrexate, estradiol 17-β-d-glucuronide, and S(2,4-dinitrophenyl)glutathione (DNP-SG) and also by glibenclamide and frusemide but not by the monoclonal Ig QCRL-3 that inhibits high-affinity transport of DNP-SG by MRP1. It is concluded that the cGMP exporter is distinct from MRP1 and has properties similar to those reported for MRP4. Furthermore the evidence suggests that the protein responsible for cGMP transport is the same as that mediating low-affinity DNP-SG transport in human erythrocytes.