Proteasome inhibitors bortezomib and carfilzomib stimulate the transport activity of human organic anion transporter 1

Yunzhou Fan, Guofeng You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Organic anion transporter 1 (OAT1), expressed at the basolateral membrane of renal proximal tubule epithelial cells, mediates the renal excretion of many clinically important drugs. Previous study in our laboratory demonstrated that ubiquitin conjugation to OAT1 leads to OAT1 internalization from the cell surface and subsequent degradation. The current study showed that the ubiquitinated OAT1 accumulated in the presence of the proteasomal inhibitors MG132 and ALLN rather than the lysosomal inhibitors leupeptin and pepstatin A, suggesting that ubiquitinated OAT1 degrades through proteasomes. Anticancer drugs bortezomib and carfilzomib target the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. We therefore investigate the roles of bortezomib and carfilzomib in reversing the ubiquitination-induced downregulation of OAT1 expression and transport activity. We showed that bortezomib and carfilzomib extremely increased the ubiquitinated OAT1, which correlated well with an enhanced OAT1-mediated transport of p-aminohippuric acid and an enhanced OAT1 surface expression. The augmented OAT1 expression and transport activity after the treatment with bortezomib and carfilzomib resulted from a reduced rate of OAT1 degradation. Consistent with this, we found decreased 20S proteasomal activity in cells that were exposed to bortezomib and carfilzomib. In conclusion, this study identified the pathway in which ubiquitinated OAT1 degrades and unveiled a novel role of anticancer drugs bortezomib and carfilzomib in their regulation of OAT1 expression and transport activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-391
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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