Human ABCG2 is a plasma membrane glycoprotein causing multidrug resistance in cancer. Membrane cholesterol and bile acids are efficient regulators of ABCG2 function, while the molecular nature of the sterol-sensing sites has not been elucidated. The cholesterol recognition amino acid consensus (CRAC, L/V-(X)(1-5)-Y-(X)(1-5)-R/K) sequence is one of the conserved motifs involved in cholesterol binding in several proteins. We have identified five potential CRAC motifs in the transmembrane domain of the human ABCG2 protein. In order to define their roles in sterol-sensing, the central tyrosines of these CRACs (Y413, 459, 469, 570 and 645) were mutated to S or F and the mutants were expressed both in insect and mammalian cells. We found that mutation in Y459 prevented protein expression; the Y469S and Y645S mutants lost their activity; while the Y570S, Y469F, and Y645F mutants retained function as well as cholesterol and bile acid sensitivity. We found that in the case of the Y413S mutant, drug transport was efficient, while modulation of the ATPase activity by cholesterol and bile acids was significantly altered. We suggest that the Y413 residue within a putative CRAC motif has a role in sterol-sensing and the ATPase/drug transport coupling in the ABCG2 multidrug transporter.
- Bile acids
- Cholesterol recognition amino acid consensus
- Multidrug resistance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology