Human multidrug resistance protein 4 (MRP4) is a cellular efflux transporter for paracetamol glutathione and cysteine conjugates

Jan B. Koenderink, Jeroen J. M. W. van den Heuvel, Ab Bilos, Galvin Vredenburg, Nico P. E. Vermeulen, Frans G. M. Russel
2020 Archives of Toxicology  
Paracetamol (acetaminophen, APAP) overdose is a leading cause of acute drug-induced liver failure. APAP hepatotoxicity is mediated by the reactive metabolite N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI). NAPQI is inactivated by conjugation with glutathione (GSH) to APAP-GSH, which is further converted into its cysteine derivative APAP-CYS. Before necrosis of hepatocytes occurs, APAP-CYS is measurable in plasma of the affected patient and it has been proposed as an early biomarker of acetaminophen
more » ... ity. APAP-GSH and APAP-CYS can be extruded by hepatocytes, but the transporters involved are unknown. In this study we examined whether ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters play a role in the cellular efflux of APAP, APAP-GSH, and APAP-CYS. The ABC transport proteins P-gp/ABCB1, BSEP/ABCB11, BCRP/ABCG2, and MRP/ABCC1-5 were overexpressed in HEK293 cells and membrane vesicles were produced. Whereas P-gp, BSEP, MRP3, MRP5, and BCRP did not transport any of the compounds, uptake of APAP-GSH was found for MRP1, MRP2 and MRP4. APAP-CYS appeared to be a substrate of MRP4 and none of the ABC proteins transported APAP. The results suggest that the NAPQI metabolite APAP-CYS can be excreted into plasma by MRP4, where it could be a useful biomarker for APAP exposure and toxicity. Characterization of the cellular efflux of APAP-CYS is important for its development as a biomarker, because plasma concentrations might be influenced by drug-transporter interactions and upregulation of MRP4.
doi:10.1007/s00204-020-02793-4 pmid:32472168 fatcat:yxvhjxacqjhndfax22j2o6rshu