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Transport in technicolor: Mapping ATP-binding cassette transporters in sea urchin embryos

Spatio-temporal mapping of transporters.
TitleTransport in technicolor: Mapping ATP-binding cassette transporters in sea urchin embryos
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGokirmak T., Shipp L.E, Campanale J.P, Nicklisch S.CT, Hamdoun A.
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Date Published2014/09
Type of ArticleReview
ISBN Number1040-452X
Accession NumberWOS:000342759400002
Keywordsabc; drug transporters; efflux transporters; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; functional-activity; half-transporter; in-vivo; membrane-proteins; multidrug-resistance-protein; p-glycoprotein; strongylocentrotus-purpuratus

One quarter of eukaryotic genes encode membrane proteins. These include nearly 1,000 transporters that translocate nutrients, signaling molecules, and xenobiotics across membranes. While it is well appreciated that membrane transport is critical for development, the specific roles of many transporters have remained cryptic, in part because of their abundance and the diversity of their substrates. Multidrug resistance ATP-binding cassette (ABC) efflux transporters are one example of cryptic membrane proteins. Although most organisms utilize these ABC transporters during embryonic development, many of these transporters have broad substrate specificity, and their developmental functions remain incompletely understood. Here, we review advances in our understanding of ABC transporters in sea urchin embryos, and methods developed to spatially and temporally map these proteins. These studies reveal that multifunctional transporters are required for signaling, homeostasis, and protection of the embryo, and shed light on how they are integrated into ancestral developmental pathways recapitulated in disease. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 81: 778-793, 2014. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Short TitleMol. Reprod. Dev.

"Nonetheless, the challenges underlying the identification of embryonic membrane transporter function are essential to tackle for several reasons. The first is simply that the functions of many membrane transporters are incompletely understood in any system. As illustrated here, understanding how these proteins are regulated in space and time in an embryo can be an important tool for generating hypotheses about their potential functions. This is especially relevant given that the expression of membrane transporters in diseases such as cancer can itself result from recapitulation of developmental pathways, including the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transformation pathways. Further, as alluded to above, the actual function of those transporters in disease can be analogous to their developmental roles, such as controlling cell motility. Thus, coming to grips with the diversity of functions and regulatory pathways that these Swiss army knives participate in may require insight from embryos."

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