A novel fluorescence-based functional assay for human OATP1A2 and OATP1C1 identifies interaction between third-generation P-gp inhibitors and OATP1A2

Éva Bakos, Orsolya Német, Izabel Patik, Nóra Kucsma, György Várady, Gergely Szakács, Csilla Özvegy-Laczka

Research output: Article


Organic anion-transporting polypeptide 1A2 (OATP1A2), expressed in the human blood–brain barrier, promotes drug uptake from the blood and hence can be exploited for central nervous system-targeted drug delivery. The thyroid transporter OATP1C1, expressed in the choroid plexus and in astrocytes, is also a potential pharmacological target. Based on their established pharmacological relevance, screening the drug interaction profile of OATP1A2 and OATP1C1 is highly desirable. However, drug interaction screens require suitable model systems and functional assays. In the current study, uptake of a set of cell-impermeable fluorescent dyes was screened in HEK-293 and A431 cell lines overexpressing OATP1A2 and OATP1C1. Based on the uptake of fluorescent dye substrates, a functional assay was developed, which was used to characterize OATP inhibitors/substrates. We identify Live/Dead Green (LDG), Live-or-Dye 488, and sulforhodamines 101, G, and B as novel fluorescent substrates of OATP1A2 and OATP1C1. We show that LDG uptake is proportional to OATP1A2/1C1 expression, allowing the isolation of cells expressing high transporter levels. Additionally, dye uptake can be used to characterize the drug interaction pattern of OATP1A2 and OATP1C1. We demonstrate that third-generation P-glycoprotein inhibitors elacridar, tariquidar, and zosuquidar inhibit OATP1A2 function. Increased toxicity of elacridar in OATP1A2-expressing cells suggests that OATP1A2 may modulate the distribution of this compound. The fluorescence-based assays developed in the current study are a good alternative of radioligand-based tests and pave the way toward high-throughput screens for OATP1A2/1C1 drug interaction studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFEBS Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - jan. 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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