The small GTPases Rab5 and RalA regulate intracellular traffic of P-glycoprotein

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P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is a plasma membrane glycoprotein that can cause multidrug resistance (MDR) of cancer cells by acting as an ATP-dependent drug efflux pump. The regulatory effects of the small GTPases Rab5 and RalA on the intracellular trafficking of P-gp were investigated in HeLa cells. As expected, overexpressed enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-tagged P-gp (P-gp-EGFP) is mainly localised to the plasma membrane. However, upon cotransfection of either dominant negative Rab5 (Rab5-S34N) or constitutively active RalA (RalA-G23V) the intracellular P-gp-EGFP levels increased approximately 9 and 13 fold, respectively, compared to control P-gp-EGFP cells. These results suggest that Rab5 and RalA regulate P-gp trafficking between the plasma membrane and an intracellular compartment. In contrast, coexpression of constitutively active Rab5 (Rab5-Q79L) or dominant negative RalA (RalA-S28N) had no effect on the localisation of P-gp-EGFP. Furthermore, the intracellular accumulation of daunorubicin, a substrate for P-gp, increased significantly with an increased intracellular localisation of P-gp-EGFP. These results imply that it may be possible to overcome MDR by controlling the plasma membrane localisation of P-gp. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




Fu, D., van Dam, E. M., Brymora, A., Duggin, I. G., Robinson, P. J., & Roufogalis, B. D. (2007). The small GTPases Rab5 and RalA regulate intracellular traffic of P-glycoprotein. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research, 1773(7), 1062–1072.

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