Monika Vasa

Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (5)17.2 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: ATP Binding Cassette (ABC) transporter, ABCA1, plays a pivotal role in reverse cholesterol transport by mediating the cellular efflux of phospholipid and cholesterol. Studies using intact cells strongly suggest that ABCA1 acts as a phospholipid floppase, but there has been no direct demonstration that the protein is a primary active sterol transporter. Using membrane vesicles from insect Sf21 cells, we found that ABCA1 mediated ATP-dependent uptake of [(3)H]25-hydroxycholesterol with an apparent K(m) of 0.7 muM. Consistent with this high apparent affinity, expression of ABCA1 in human embryonic kidney cells both increased rapid efflux of 25-hydroxcholesterol and prevented oxysterol-mediated repression of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase mRNAs. Comparison of wild-type and ABCA1(-/-) murine fibroblasts indicates that 25-hydroxycholesterol is effluxed approximately 5-fold more rapidly by wild-type cells. In addition, the rate of efflux from the wild-type but not the ABCA1(-/-) fibroblasts is increased a further twofold by inducers of ABCA1 expression. Thus under the experimental conditions employed, endogenous ABCA1 is a major contributor to 25-hydroxycholesterol efflux from wild-type fibroblasts. Evidence from in vitro studies indicates that oxysterols are potent inducers of genes involved in cellular cholesterol efflux and metabolism, including the ABCA1 gene, and repressors of genes involved in cholesterol synthesis or uptake. Our observations raise the possibility that efflux of oxysterols by ABCA1 could contribute to a homeostatic mechanism, which both attenuates oxysterol-induced expression of its cognate gene and alleviates repression of genes encoding proteins, such as HMG-CoA reductase and LDL receptor.
    AJP Cell Physiology 10/2006; 291(3):C490-502. · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) has a total of 17 transmembrane (TM) helices arranged in three membrane-spanning domains, MSD0, MSD1, and MSD2, with a 5 + 6 + 6 TM configuration. Photolabeling studies indicate that TMs 10 and 11 in MSD1 and 16 and 17 in MSD2 contribute to the substrate binding pocket of the protein. Previous mutational analyses of charged and polar amino acids in predicted TM helices 11, 16, and 17 support this suggestion. Mutation of Trp(553) in TM10 also affects substrate specificity. To extend this analysis, we mutated six additional polar residues within TM10 and the remaining uncharacterized polar residue in TM16, Asn(1208). Although mutation of Asn(1208) was without effect, two of six mutations in TM10, T550A and T556A, modulated the drug resistance profile of MRP1 without affecting transport of leukotriene C4, 17beta-estradiol 17-(beta-d-glucuronide) (E(2)17betaG), and glutathione. Mutation T550A increased vincristine resistance but decreased doxorubicin resistance, whereas mutation T556A decreased resistance to etoposide (VP-16) and doxorubicin. Although conservative mutation of Tyr(568) in TM10 to Phe or Trp had no apparent effect on substrate specificity, substitution with Ala decreased the affinity of MRP1 for E(2)17betaG without affecting drug resistance or the transport of other substrates tested. These analyses confirm that several amino acids in TM10 selectively alter the substrate specificity of MRP1, suggesting that they interact directly with certain substrates. The location of these and other functionally important residues in TM helices 11, 16, and 17 is discussed in the context of an energy-minimized model of the membrane-spanning domains of MRP1.
    Drug Metabolism and Disposition 05/2006; 34(4):539-46. · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human multidrug resistance protein 1 (MRP1) is an ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter that confers resistance to many natural product chemotherapeutic agents and can transport structurally diverse conjugated organic anions. MRP1 has three polytopic transmembrane domains (TMDs) and a total of 17 TM helices. Photolabeling and mutagenesis studies of MRP1 indicate that TM11, the last helix in the second TMD, may form part of the protein's substrate binding pocket. We have demonstrated that certain polar residues within a number of TM helices, including Arg(593) in TM11, are determinants of MRP1 substrate specificity or overall activity. We have now extended these analyses to assess the functional consequences of mutating the remaining seven polar residues within and near TM11. Mutations Q580A, T581A, and S585A in the predicted outer leaflet region of the helix had no detectable effect on function, while mutation of three residues close to the membrane/cytoplasm interface altered substrate specificity. Two of these mutations affected only drug resistance. N597A increased and decreased resistance to vincristine and VP-16, respectively, while S605A decreased resistance to vincristine, VP-16 and doxorubicin. The third, S604A, selectively increased 17beta-estradiol 17-(beta-d-glucuronide) (E(2)17betaG) transport. In contrast, elimination of the polar character of the residue at position 590 (Asn in the wild-type protein) uniformly impaired the ability of MRP1 to transport potential physiological substrates and to confer resistance to three different classes of natural product drugs. Kinetic and photolabeling studies revealed that mutation N590A not only decreased the affinity of MRP1 for cysteinyl leukotriene 4 (LTC(4)) but also substantially reduced the binding of ATP to nucleotide binding domain 1 (NBD1). Thus, polar interactions involving residues in TM11 influence not only the substrate specificity of MRP1 but also an early step in the proposed catalytic cycle of the protein.
    Biochemistry 08/2004; 43(29):9413-25. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multidrug resistance protein (MRP) 1 is a member of the ABCC branch of the ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily that can confer resistance to natural product chemotherapeutic drugs and transport a variety of conjugated organic anions, as well as some unconjugated compounds in a glutathione- (GSH-) dependent manner. In addition to the two tandemly repeated polytopic membrane-spanning domains (MSDs) typical of ABC transporters, MRP1 and its homologues MRP2, -3, -6, and -7 contain a third NH(2)-terminal MSD. The cytoplasmic loop (CL3) connecting this MSD, but apparently not the MSD itself, is required for MRP1 leukotriene C(4) (LTC(4)) transport activity, substrate binding and appropriate trafficking of the protein to the basolateral membrane. We have used a baculovirus dual-expression system to produce various functionally complementing fragments of MRP1 in insect Sf21 cells to precisely define the region in CL3 that is required for activity and substrate binding. Using a parallel approach in polarized MDCK-I cells, we have also defined the region of CL3 that is required for basolateral trafficking. The CL3 NH(2)- and COOH-proximal functional boundaries have been identified as Cys(208) and Asn(260), respectively. Cys(208) also corresponds to the NH(2)-proximal boundary of the region required for basolateral trafficking in MDCK-I cells. However, additional residues downstream of the CL3 COOH-proximal functional boundary extending to Lys(270) were found to be important for basolateral localization. Finally, we show that regions in CL3 necessary for LTC(4) binding and transport are also required for binding of the photoactivatable GSH derivative azidophenacyl-GSH.
    Biochemistry 01/2004; 42(48):14099-113. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human multidrug resistance protein (MRP) 3 is the most closely related homologue of MRP1. Like MRP1, MRP3 confers resistance to etoposide (VP-16) and actively transports 17 beta-estradiol 17-(beta-D-glucuronide) (E(2)17 beta G), cysteinyl leukotriene 4 (LTC(4)), and methotrexate, although with generally lower affinity. Unlike MRP1, MRP3 also transports monovalent bile salts. We have previously demonstrated that hydrogen-bonding residues predicted to be in the inner-leaflet spanning segment of transmembrane (TM) 17 of MRP1 are important for drug resistance and E(2)17 beta G transport. We have now examined the importance of the hydrogen-bonding potential of residues in TM17 of MRP3 on both substrate specificity and overall activity. Mutation S1229A reduced only methotrexate transport. Mutations S1231A and N1241A decreased resistance to VP-16 and transport of E(2)17 beta G and methotrexate but not taurocholate. Mutation Q1235A also reduced resistance to VP-16 and transport of E(2)17beta G but increased taurocholate transport without affecting transport of methotrexate. Mutations Y1232F and S1233A reduced resistance to VP-16 and the transport of all three substrates tested. In contrast, mutation T1237A markedly increased VP-16 resistance and transport of all substrates. On the basis of the substrates analyzed, residues Ser(1229), Ser(1231), Gln(1235), and Asn(1241) play an important role in determining the specificity of MRP3, while mutation of Tyr(1232), Ser(1233), and Thr(1237) affects overall activity. Unlike MRP1, the involvement of polar residues in determining substrate specificity extends throughout the TM helix. Furthermore, elimination of the hydrogen-bonding potential of a single amino acid, Thr(1237), markedly enhanced the ability of the protein to confer drug resistance and to transport all substrates examined.
    Biochemistry 09/2003; 42(33):9989-10000. · 3.38 Impact Factor