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p-Aminohippurate (PAH) is the classical substrate used in the characterization of organic anion transport in renal proximal tubular cells. Although basolateral transporters for PAH uptake from blood into the cell have been well characterized, there is still little knowledge on the apical urinary efflux transporters. The multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2/ABCC2) is localized to the apical membrane and mediates ATP-dependent PAH transport, but its contribution to urinary PAH excretion is not known. In this report, we show that renal excretion of PAH in isolated perfused kidneys from wild-type and Mrp2-deficient (TR(-)) rats is not significantly different. Uptake of [(14)C]PAH in membrane vesicles expressing two different MRP2 clones isolated from Sf9 and MDCKII cells exhibited a low affinity for PAH (Sf9, 5 +/- 2 mM; MDCKII, 2.1 +/- 0.6 mM). Human MRP4 (ABCC4), which has recently been localized to the apical membrane, expressed in Sf9 cells had a much higher affinity for PAH (K(m) = 160 +/- 50 microM). Various inhibitors of MRP2-mediated PAH transport also inhibited MRP4. Probenecid stimulated MRP2 at low concentrations but had no effect on MRP4; but at high probenecid concentrations, both MRP2 and MRP4 were inhibited. Sulfinpyrazone only stimulated MRP2, but inhibited MRP4. Real-time PCR and Western blot analysis showed that renal cortical expression of MRP4 is approximately fivefold higher as compared with MRP2. MRP4 is a novel PAH transporter that has higher affinity for PAH and is expressed more highly in kidney than MRP2, and may therefore be more important in renal PAH excretion.


Pascal H E Smeets, Rémon A M H van Aubel, Alfons C Wouterse, Jeroen J M W van den Heuvel, Frans G M Russel. Contribution of multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2/ABCC2) to the renal excretion of p-aminohippurate (PAH) and identification of MRP4 (ABCC4) as a novel PAH transporter. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN. 2004 Nov;15(11):2828-35

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PMID: 15504935

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