ABCG2 Is Overexpressed on Red Blood Cells in Ph-Negative Myeloproliferative Neoplasms and Potentiates Ruxolitinib-Induced Apoptosis

Ralfs Buks, Mégane Brusson, Sylvie Cochet, Tatiana Galochkina, Bruno Cassinat, Ivan Nemazanyy, Thierry Peyrard, Jean-Jacques Kiladjian, Alexandre G. de Brevern, Slim Azouzi, Wassim El Nemer* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are a group of disorders characterized by clonal expansion of abnormal hematopoietic stem cells leading to hyperproliferation of one or more myeloid lineages. The main complications in MPNs are high risk of thrombosis and progression to myelofibro- sis and leukemia. MPN patients with high risk scores are treated by hydroxyurea (HU), interferon-α, or ruxolitinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Polycythemia vera (PV) is an MPN characterized by over- production of red blood cells (RBCs). ABCG2 is a member of the ATP-binding cassette superfamily transporters known to play a crucial role in multidrug resistance development. Proteome analysis showed higher ABCG2 levels in PV RBCs compared to RBCs from healthy controls and an additional increase of these levels in PV patients treated with HU, suggesting that ABCG2 might play a role in multidrug resistance in MPNs. In this work, we explored the role of ABCG2 in the transport of ruxolitinib and HU using human cell lines, RBCs, and in vitro differentiated erythroid progenitors. Using stopped-flow analysis, we showed that HU is not a substrate for ABCG2. Using transfected K562 cells expressing three different levels of recombinant ABCG2, MPN RBCs, and cultured ery- throblasts, we showed that ABCG2 potentiates ruxolitinib-induced cytotoxicity that was blocked by the ABCG2-specific inhibitor KO143 suggesting ruxolitinib intracellular import by ABCG2. In silico modeling analysis identified possible ruxolitinib-binding site locations within the cavities of ABCG2. Our study opens new perspectives in ruxolitinib efficacy research targeting cell types depending on ABCG2 expression and polymorphisms among patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number 3530
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021


  • polycythemia vera
  • JAK2V617F
  • red blood cells
  • ABCG2
  • ruxolitinib
  • hydroxyurea


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