Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type






First Advisor

Dr. Mary Vore


Multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2) is the second member the C subfamily in the superfamily of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) efflux transporters. MRP2 is a critical player for generation of bile acidindependent bile flow and biliary excretion of glutathione, glucuronate and sulfate conjugates of endo- and xenobiotics. Dysfunctional expression of MRP2 is associated with Dubin-Johnson Syndrome.

Pathological and physiological states or xenobiotics change the MRP2 expression level. Under some conditions, expression of the human MRP2 and rat Mrp2 proteins are regulated at the translation level. There are several transcription initiation sites in MRP2/Mrp2 gene. The 5’ untranslated regions (5’UTRs) of MRP2/Mrp2 contains multiple translation start codons. The focus of this study, therefore, was investigation of the translational regulatory mechanisms mediated by the upstream open reading frames (uORF) of MRP2/Mrp2.

Using in vitro translation assays and transient cotransfection assays in HepG2 cells, we showed that the rat uORF1 starting at position -109 (relative to the ATG of Mrp2) and the human uORF2 starting at position -105 (relative to the ATG of MRP2) are two major cis-acting inhibitors of translation among the rat and human multiple uORFs, respectively. Translational regulation mediated by the uORFs in the rat Mrp2 mRNA is a combined effect of the leaky scanning model and the reinitiation model, and also results from interaction of the multiple uORFs. In addition, by Ribonuclease Protection Assays (RPA), we detected multiple transcription initiation sites of MRP2/Mrp2 gene in tissues. We also found that the relative abundance of the rat Mrp2 mRNA isoforms with different 5’UTRs differed in the rat liver, kidney, jejunum, ileum, placenta, and lung. This is the first study on the translational regulatory mechanisms of the MRP2/Mrp2 gene.



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