Publications

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2014
Gokirmak, T, Shipp LE, Campanale JP, Nicklisch SCT, Hamdoun A.  2014.  Transport in technicolor: Mapping ATP-binding cassette transporters in sea urchin embryos. Molecular Reproduction and Development. 81:778-793.   10.1002/mrd.22357   AbstractWebsite

One quarter of eukaryotic genes encode membrane proteins. These include nearly 1,000 transporters that translocate nutrients, signaling molecules, and xenobiotics across membranes. While it is well appreciated that membrane transport is critical for development, the specific roles of many transporters have remained cryptic, in part because of their abundance and the diversity of their substrates. Multidrug resistance ATP-binding cassette (ABC) efflux transporters are one example of cryptic membrane proteins. Although most organisms utilize these ABC transporters during embryonic development, many of these transporters have broad substrate specificity, and their developmental functions remain incompletely understood. Here, we review advances in our understanding of ABC transporters in sea urchin embryos, and methods developed to spatially and temporally map these proteins. These studies reveal that multifunctional transporters are required for signaling, homeostasis, and protection of the embryo, and shed light on how they are integrated into ancestral developmental pathways recapitulated in disease. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 81: 778-793, 2014. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

2013
Cole, BJ, Hamdoun A, Epel D.  2013.  Cost, effectiveness and environmental relevance of multidrug transporters in sea urchin embryos. Journal of Experimental Biology. 216:3896-3905.   10.1242/jeb.090522   AbstractWebsite

ATP-binding cassette transporters protect cells via efflux of xenobiotics and endogenous byproducts of detoxification. While the cost of this ATP-dependent extrusion is known at the molecular level, i.e. the ATP used for each efflux event, the overall cost to a cell or organism of operating this defense is unclear, especially as the cost of efflux changes depending on environmental conditions. During prolonged exposure to xenobiotics, multidrug transporter activity could be costly and ineffective because effluxed substrate molecules are not modified in the process and could thus undergo repeated cycles of efflux and re-entry. Here we use embryos of the purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, as a model to determine transport costs and benefits under environmentally relevant xenobiotic concentrations. Strikingly, our results show that efflux transporter activity costs less than 0.2% of total ATP usage, as a proportion of oxygen consumption. The benefits of transport, defined as the reduction in substrate accumulation due to transporter activity, depended largely, but not entirely, on the rate of passive flux of each substrate across the plasma membrane. One of the substrates tested exhibited rapid membrane permeation coupled with high rates of efflux, thus inducing rapid and futile cycles of efflux followed by re-entry of the substrate. This combination significantly reduced transporter effectiveness as a defense and increased costs even at relatively low substrate concentrations. Despite these effects with certain substrates, our results show that efflux transporters are a remarkably effective and low-cost first line of defense against exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of xenobiotics.

2006
Epel, D, Cole B, Hamdoun A, Thurber RV.  2006.  The sea urchin embryo as a model for studying efflux transporters: Roles and energy cost. Marine Environmental Research. 62:S1-S4.   10.1016/j.marenvres.2006.04.062   AbstractWebsite

We describe the use of the sea urchin as a model for studying efflux transporters and estimating energy cost for the cytotoxin protective system provided by these transporters. The unfertilized egg has low transport activity, which increases to a new steady state shortly after fertilization. Activity results from p-glycoprotein (p-gp) and MRP type transporters which protect the embryo from cytotoxic drugs that can disrupt cell division or induce apoptosis. The energy cost is estimated from a novel use of calcein-AM as a substrate; keeping 0.25 mu M substrate levels out of the cell utilizes only 0.023% of steady state respiration. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.