Table of Contents
Advances in Biology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 105898, 11 pages
Review Article

The Role of the Actin Cytoskeleton and Lipid Rafts in the Localization and Function of the ABCC1 Transporter

Department of Cell Biology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, A. Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands

Received 2 February 2014; Revised 10 April 2014; Accepted 11 April 2014; Published 5 May 2014

Academic Editor: Yun-Wei Chiang

Copyright © 2014 Jan Willem Kok et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are known to be important factors in multidrug resistance of tumor cells. Lipid rafts have been implicated in their localization in the plasma membrane, where they function as drug efflux pumps. This specific localization in rafts may support the activity of ABC/Abc transporters. This raises questions regarding the nature and composition of the lipid rafts that harbor ABC/Abc transporters and the dependence of ABC/Abc transporters—concerning their localization and activity—on lipid raft constituents. Here we review our work of the past 10 years aimed at evaluating whether ABC/Abc transporters are dependent on a particular membrane environment for their function. What is the nature of this membrane environment and which of the lipid raft constituents are important for this dependency? It turns out that cortical actin is of major importance for stabilizing the localization and function of the ABC/Abc transporter, provided it is localized in an actin-dependent subtype of lipid rafts, as is the case for human ABCC1/multidrug resistance-related protein 1 (MRP1) and rodent Abcc1/Mrp1 but not human ABCB1/P-glycoprotein (PGP). On the other hand, sphingolipids do not appear to be modulators of ABCC1/MRP1 (or Abcc1/Mrp1), even though they are coregulated during drug resistance development.