Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation





First Advisor

Dr. Christian Paumi

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Vore


Multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1) is a member of the adenosine 5’-triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. MRP1 actively effluxes a variety of endogenous and exogenous substrates from cells, ultimately, working to remove these compounds from the body. MRP1 was initially discovered based on its ability to confer resistance against a variety of chemotherapeutics when overexpressed in cancer cells lines. MRP1 function is important for a number of physiological processes, including regulating cellular and extracellular levels of the anti-inflammatory leukotriene C4 (LTC4) and the antioxidant glutathione (GSH). Our studies have focused on the role of MRP1 in regulating hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and differentiation and the role of CK2 as a regulator of MRP1 function. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) cellular levels are tightly regulated and fluctuations in ROS levels affect many cellular processes, including the self-renewal and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells and kinase signaling pathways. MRP1 regulates ROS through the transport of reduced and oxidized GSH. MRP1 is highly expressed in HSCs, therefore we hypothesized that MRP1 regulates ROS levels in HSCs via efflux of GSH. We have shown that MRP1 regulates HSC self-renewal by modulating cellular ROS via the efflux of GSH. The decrease in ROS results in downregulation of p38 activity and altered expression of a number of redox response genes.

CK2 is a master regulator of the cell and controls cell growth, proliferation, death and survival. Yeast studies from our lab using Ycf1p (a homologue of MRP1) and Cka1p (a homologue of CK2) have found that Cka1p regulates Ycf1p function. This result suggests that CK2 regulates MRP1 function via phosphorylation. We have found that CK2 does regulate MRP1 function via phosphorylation of the N-terminal extension at Thr249. Using A549, H460, and HeLa cancer cell lines, we found that inhibition of CK2 with tetrabromobenzimidazole (TBBz) reduces MRP1 function and increases cellular toxicity to known MRP1 substrates.