The monkey is an important experimental model in the pharmacological evaluation of new drugs. We isolated monkey multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (MRP2) cDNA to examine expression profiles among various tissues and measured ATPase activity to assess substrate specificity. The amino acid sequence encoded by monkey MRP2 cDNA was very similar (96% identity) to the reported human MRP2 cDNA (GenBank accession no. NM_000392). The tissue distribution of MRP2 in monkeys was partially different from that in humans. We found relatively high expression of MRP2 in the monkey kidney and small intestine using Northern blotting. Substrate specificity was compared between human and monkey MRP2. The affinity of 17beta-estradiol 17-(beta-d-glucuronide), methotrexate, vinblastine, and probenecid to monkey MRP2 was higher than that to human MRP2. Functional and expression differences between human and monkey MRP2 should be incorporated into the evaluation of candidate drugs.
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