A Wiki about biochemical individuality


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Gene aliases: MRX; MXR; ABCP; BCRP; BMDP; MXR1; ABC15; BCRP1; CDw338; EST157481; MGC102821

Chromosome: 4; Location: 4q22


The membrane-associated protein encoded by this gene is included in the superfamily of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. ABC proteins transport various molecules across extra- and intra-cellular membranes. ABC genes are divided into seven distinct subfamilies (ABC1, MDR/TAP, MRP, ALD, OABP, GCN20, White). This protein is a member of the White subfamily. Alternatively referred to as a breast cancer resistance protein, this protein functions as a xenobiotic transporter which may play a major role in multi-drug resistance. It likely serves as a cellular defense mechanism in response to mitoxantrone and anthracycline exposure. Significant expression of this protein has been observed in the placenta, which may suggest a potential role for this molecule in placenta tissue.


The protein variously named ABCG2/BCRP/MXR/ABCP is a recently described ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter originally identified by its ability to confer drug resistance that is independent of Mrp1 (multidrug-resistance protein 1) and Pgp (P-glycoprotein). Unlike Mrp1 and Pgp, ABCG2 is a half-transporter that must homodimerize to acquire transport activity. ABCG2 is found in a variety of stem cells and may protect them from exogenous and endogenous toxins. ABCG2 expression is upregulated under low-oxygen conditions, consistent with its high expression in tissues exposed to low-oxygen environments. ABCG2 interacts with heme and other porphyrins and protects cells and/or tissues from protoporphyrin accumulation under hypoxic conditions. Individuals who carry ABCG2 alleles that have impaired function may be more susceptible to porphyrin-induced toxicity. Abcg2 knock-out models have allowed in vivo studies of Abcg2 function in host and cellular defense. In combination with immunohistochemical analyses, these studies have revealed how ABCG2 influences the absorption, distribution, and excretion of drugs and cytotoxins. (1)

RNA expression of this protein in breast cancer correlates with response to chemotherapy. (2)



1. Krishnamurthy P, Schuetz JD.Role of ABCG2/BCRP in biology and medicine.Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2006;46:381-410.

2. Burger H, Foekens JA, Look MP, Meijer-van Gelder ME, Klijn JG, Wiemer EA, Stoter G, Nooter K.RNA expression of breast cancer resistance protein, lung resistance-related protein, multidrug resistance-associated proteins 1 and 2, and multidrug resistance gene 1 in breast cancer: correlation with chemotherapeutic responseClin Cancer Res. 2003 Feb;9(2):827-36.