Indexed on: 19 Jun '14Published on: 19 Jun '14Published in: Nucleosides, nucleotides & nucleic acids
ATP-binding cassette transporter G2 (ABCG2), also known as breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), is identified as a high-capacity urate exporter and its dysfunction has an association with serum uric acid (SUA) levels and gout/hyperuricemia risk. However, pathophysiologically important pathway(s) responsible for the ABCG2-mediated urate excretion were unknown. In this study, we investigated how ABCG2 dysfunction affected the urate excretion pathways. First, we revealed that mouse Abcg2 mediates urate transport using the membrane vesicle system. The export process by mouse Abcg2 was ATP-dependent and not saturable under the physiological concentration of urate. Then, we characterized the excretion of urate into urine, bile, and intestinal lumen using in vivo mouse model. SUA of Abcg2-knockout mice was significantly higher than that of control mice. Under this condition, the renal urate excretion was increased in Abcg2-knockout mice, whereas the urate excretion from the intestine was decreased to less than a half. Biliary urate excretion showed no significant difference regardless of Abcg2 genotype. From these results, we estimated the relative contribution of each pathway to total urate excretion; in wild-type mice, the renal excretion pathway contributes approximately two-thirds, the intestinal excretion pathway contributes one-third of the total urate excretion, and the urate excretion into bile is minor. Decreased intestinal excretion could account for the increased SUA of Abcg2-knockout mice. Thus, ABCG2 is suggested to have an important role in extra-renal urate excretion, especially in intestinal excretion. Accordingly, increased SUA in patients with ABCG2 dysfunction could be explained by the decreased excretion of urate from the intestine.