Oligomerization of human ATP-binding cassette transporters and its potential significance in human disease

Wei Mo, Jian Ting Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Human ATP-binding cassette transporters (ABC transporter) belong to an extremely important superfamily of membrane transporters. They use energy from ATP hydrolysis to transport a wide variety of substrates across the cellular membrane. Due to the physiological and pharmacological importance of their diverse substrates, ABC transporters have been shown to have close relationship with various human diseases such as cystic fibrosis and multi-drug resistance in cancer chemotherapy. While it has been thought traditionally that functional ABC transporters exist as monomeric full or dimeric half transporters, emerging evidence indicates that some ABC transporters oligomerize on cellular membranes and this oligomerization seems to have functional relevance. Therefore, this oligomerization process might be a promising drug target for ABC transporter-related human diseases, especially in overcoming multi-drug resistance in cancer chemotherapy. In this review, we perform a critical analysis of the past studies on the oligomerization of ABC transporters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1063
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Metabolism and Toxicology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • ABC transporter
  • Dimers
  • Multi-drug resistance
  • Oligomerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology

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