Effects of a detergent micelle environment on P-glycoprotein (ABCB1)-ligand interactions

Suneet Shukla, Biebele Abel, Eduardo E. Chufan, Suresh V. Ambudkar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is a multidrug transporter that uses energy from ATP hydrolysis to export many structurally dissimilar hydrophobic and amphipathic compounds, including anticancer drugs from cells. Several structural studies on purified P-gp have been reported, but only limited and sometimes conflicting information is available on ligand interactions with the isolated transporter in a dodecyl-maltoside detergent environment. In this report we compared the biochemical properties of P-gp in native membranes, detergent micelles, and when reconstituted in artificial membranes. We found that the modulators zosuquidar, tariquidar, and elacridar stimulated the ATPase activity of purified human or mouse P-gp in a detergent micelle environment. In contrast, these drugs inhibited ATPase activity in native membranes or in proteoliposomes, with IC50 values in the 10-40 nM range. Similarly, a 30-150-fold decrease in the apparent affinity for verapamil and cyclic peptide inhibitor QZ59-SSS was observed in detergent micelles compared with native or artificial membranes. Together, these findings demonstrate that the high-affinity site is inaccessible because of either a conformational change or binding of detergent at the binding site in a detergent micelle environment. The ligands bind to a low-affinity site, resulting in altered modulation of P-gp ATPase activity. We, therefore, recommend studying structural and functional aspects of ligand interactions with purified P-gp and other ATP-binding cassette transporters that transport amphipathic or hydrophobic substrates in a detergent-free native or artificial membrane environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7066-7076
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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