Long, Y., Li, Q., Zhong, S., Wang, Y., and Cui, Z. (2011) Molecular characterization and functions of zebrafish ABCC2 in cellular efflux of heavy metals. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Toxicology & pharmacology : CBP. 153(4):381-91.
Multidrug-resistance associated protein 2 (MRP2/ABCC2) plays crucial roles in bile formation and detoxification by transporting a wide variety of endogenous compounds and xenobiotics, but its functions in zebrafish (Danio rerio) remain to be characterized. In this study, we obtained the full-length cDNA of zebrafish abcc2, analyzed its expression in developing embryos and adult tissues, investigated its transcriptional response to heavy metals, and evaluated its roles in efflux of heavy metals including cadmium, mercury and lead. Zebrafish abcc2 gene is located on chromosome 13 and composed of 32 exons. The deduced polypeptide of zebrafish ABCC2 consists of 1567 amino acids and possesses most of functional domains and critical residues defined in human ABCC2. Zebrafish abcc2 gene is not maternally expressed and its earliest expression was detected in embryos at 72 hpf. In larval zebrafish, abcc2 gene was found to be exclusively expressed in liver, intestine and pronephric tubules. In adult zebrafish, the highest expression of abcc2 gene was found in intestine followed by those in liver and kidney, while relative low expression was detected in brain and muscle. Expression of abcc2 in excretory organs including kidney, liver and intestine of zebrafish larvae was induced by exposure to 0.5μM mercury or 5μM lead. Moreover, exposure to 0.125 - 1μM of mercury or lead also significantly induced abcc2 expression in these excretory organs of adult zebrafish. Furthermore, overexpression of zebrafish ABCC2 in ZF4 cells and zebrafish embryos decreased the cellular accumulation of heavy metals including cadmium, mercury and lead as determined by MRE (metal responsive element)- or EPRE (electrophile response element)-driven luciferase reporters and atomic absorption spectrometry. These results suggest that zebrafish ABCC2/MRP2 is capable of effluxing heavy metals from cells and may play important roles in the detoxification of toxic metals.