Effect of cysteine mutagenesis on the function and disulfide bond formation of human ABCG2

Yang Liu, Youyun Yang, Jing Qi, Hui Peng, Jian Ting Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


ABCG2 is a member of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily. Its overexpression causes multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy. Based on its apparent half size in sequence when compared with other traditional ABC transporters, ABCG2 has been thought to exist and function as a homodimer linked by intermolecular disulfide bonds. However, recent evidence suggests that ABCG2 may exist as a higher form of oligomers due to noncovalent interactions. In this study, we attempted to create a cysless mutant ABCG2 as a tool for further characterization of this molecule. However, we found that the cysless mutant ABCG2 is well expressed but not functional. Mapping of the cysteine residues showed that three cysteine residues (Cys284, Cys374, and Cys438) are required concurrently for the function of ABCG2 and potentially for intramolecular disulfide bond formation. We also found that the cysteine residues (Cys592, Cys603, and Cys608) in the third extracellular loop are involved in forming intermolecular disulfide bonds and that mutation of these residues does not affect the expression or drug transport activity of human ABCG2. Thus, we conclude that Cys284, Cys374, and Cys438, which may be involved in intramolecular disulfide bond formation, are concurrently required for ABCG2 function, whereas Cys592, Cys603, and Cys608, potentially involved in intermolecular disulfide bond formation, are not required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-40
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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