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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of ATP-binding cassette and solute carrier transporters in erlotinib CNS penetration and intracellular accumulation.

PURPOSE: To study the role of drug transporters in central nervous system (CNS) penetration and cellular accumulation of erlotinib and its metabolite, OSI-420. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: After oral erlotinib administration to wild-type and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter-knockout mice (Mdr1a/b(-/-), Abcg2(-/-), Mdr1a/b(-/-)Abcg2(-/-), and Abcc4(-/-)), plasma was collected and brain extracellular fluid (ECF) was sampled using intracerebral microdialysis. A pharmacokinetic model was fit to erlotinib and OSI-420 concentration-time data, and brain penetration (P(Brain)) was estimated by the ratio of ECF-to-unbound plasma area under concentration-time curves. Intracellular accumulation of erlotinib was assessed in cells overexpressing human ABC transporters or SLC22A solute carriers. RESULTS: P(Brain) in wild-type mice was 0.27 ± 0.11 and 0.07 ± 0.02 (mean ± SD) for erlotinib and OSI-420, respectively. Erlotinib and OSI-420 P(Brain) in Abcg2(-/-) and Mdr1a/b(-/-)Abcg2(-/-) mice were significantly higher than in wild-type mice. Mdr1a/b(-/-) mice showed similar brain ECF penetration as wild-type mice (0.49 ± 0.37 and 0.04 ± 0.02 for erlotinib and OSI-420, respectively). In vitro, erlotinib and OSI-420 accumulation was significantly lower in cells overexpressing breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) than in control cells. Only OSI-420, not erlotinib, showed lower accumulation in cells overexpressing P-glycoprotein (P-gp) than in control cells. The P-gp/BCRP inhibitor elacridar increased erlotinib and OSI-420 accumulation in BCRP-overexpressing cells. Erlotinib uptake was higher in OAT3- and OCT2-transfected cells than in empty vector control cells. CONCLUSION: Abcg2 is the main efflux transporter preventing erlotinib and OSI-420 penetration in mouse brain. Erlotinib and OSI-420 are substrates for SLC22A family members OAT3 and OCT2. Our findings provide a mechanistic basis for erlotinib CNS penetration, cellular uptake, and efflux mechanisms.[1]


  1. Role of ATP-binding cassette and solute carrier transporters in erlotinib CNS penetration and intracellular accumulation. Elmeliegy, M.A., Carcaboso, A.M., Tagen, M., Bai, F., Stewart, C.F. Clin. Cancer Res. (2011) [Pubmed]
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