2017 Volume 40 Issue 1 Pages 82-87
The human breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2), a member of the ATP-binding cassette transporter family, is a drug transporter restricting absorption and enhancing excretion of many compounds including anticancer drugs. The cis-regulatory elements in the BCRP promoter include a hypoxia response element, i.e., the DNA binding site for hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1). In this study, we investigated the effect of cobalt chloride, a chemical inducer of HIF-1α, on the expression and function of BCRP in human renal proximal tubular cell line HK-2. Cobalt chloride treatment significantly increased the mRNA expression of not only glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), a typical HIF-1 target gene mRNA, but also ABCG2 mRNA in HK-2 cells. The BCRP inhibitor Ko143-sensitive accumulation of BCRP substrates such as Hoechst33342 and mitoxantrone was significantly enhanced by cobalt chloride treatment. In addition, treatment with cobalt chloride significantly increased the Ko143-sensitive accumulation of fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled methotrexate in HK-2 cells. Furthermore, cobalt chloride treatment attenuated the cytotoxicity induced by mitoxantrone and methotrexate, which might be, at least in part, due to the increase in BCRP-mediated transport activity via HIF-1 activation. These findings indicate that HIF-1 activation protects renal proximal tubular cells against BCRP substrate-induced cytotoxicity by enhancing the expression and function of BCRP in renal proximal tubular cells.