Regional variations in ABC transporter expression along the mouse intestinal tract

David M. Mutch, Pascale Anderle, Muriel Fiaux, Robert Mansourian, Karine Vidal, Walter Wahli, Gary Williamson, Matthew Alan Roberts

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47 Citations (Scopus)


The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family of proteins comprise a group of membrane transporters involved in the transport of a wide variety of compounds, such as xenobiotics, vitamins, lipids, amino acids, and carbohydrates. Determining their regional expression patterns along the intestinal tract will further characterize their transport functions in the gut. The mRNA expression levels of murine ABC transporters in the duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and colon were examined using the Affymetrix MuU74v2 GeneChip set. Eight ABC transporters (Abcb2, Abcb3, Abcb9, Abcc3, Abcc6, Abcd1, Abcg5, and Abcg8) displayed significant differential gene expression along the intestinal tract, as determined by two statistical models (a global error assessment model and a classic ANOVA, both with a P < 0.01). Concordance with semi-quantitative real-time PCR was high. Analyzing the promoters of the differentially expressed ABC transporters did not identify common transcriptional motifs between family members or with other genes; however, the expression profile for Abcb9 was highly correlated with fibulin-1, and both genes share a common complex promoter model involving the NFκB, zinc binding protein factor (ZBPF), GC-box factors SP1/GC (SP1F), and early growth response factor (EGRF) transcription binding motifs. The cellular location of another of the differentially expressed ABC transporters, Abcc3, was examined by immunohistochemistry. Staining revealed that the protein is consistently expressed in the basolateral compartment of enterocytes along the anterior-posterior axis of the intestine. Furthermore, the intensity of the staining pattern is concordant with the expression profile. This agrees with previous findings in which the mRNA, protein, and transport function of Abcc3 were increased in the rat distal intestine. These data reveal regional differences in gene expression profiles along the intestinal tract and demonstrate that a complete understanding of intestinal ABC transporter function can only be achieved by examining the physiologically distinct regions of the gut.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological Genomics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterior-posterior axis
  • ATP-binding cassette transporters
  • Intestine
  • Microarray

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