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Cloning And Characterization Of A Second Member Of The Mouse Mdr Gene Family.

P Gros, M Raymond, J Bell, D Housman

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The mammalian mdr gene family comprises a small number of closely related genes. Previously, we have shown that one member, mdr1, has the capacity to convey multidrug resistance to drug-sensitive recipient cells in a gene transfer protocol. However, the functional characteristics of other members of this gene family have not been examined. In this report, we characterize a second member of the mdr gene family which we designated mdr2. We determined the nucleotide sequence corresponding to the complete coding region of this mdr2 transcript. The predicted amino acid sequence of this protein (1,276 amino acids) showed that it is a membrane glycoprotein highly homologous to mdr1 (85%), strongly suggesting that both genes originate from a common ancestor. Regions of divergence between mdr1 and mdr2 proteins are concentrated in two discrete segments of the predicted polypeptides, each approximately 100 residues in length. The mdr2 protein appears to be formed by the duplication of a structural unit which encodes three putative transmembrane loops and a predicted nucleotide-binding fold and is highly homologous to bacterial transport proteins such as hlyB. This strong homology suggests that mdr2 also participates in an energy-dependent membrane transport process. However, the direct relationship, if any, of this new member of the mdr family to multidrug resistance remains to be established. Knowledge of the complete nucleotide sequence and predicted amino acid sequence of the mdr2 gene product will enable the preparation of gene-specific probes and antibodies necessary to study the functional role of this gene in multidrug resistance and normal physiological processes.