Valproic Acid-Induced Upregulation of Multidrug Efflux Transporter ABCG2/BCRP via PPARa-Dependent Mechanism in Human Brain Endothelial Cells

Samiksha Kukal, Shivangi Bora, Neha Kanojia, Pooja Singh, Priyanka Rani Paul, Chitra Rawat, Shakti Sagar, Naveen Kumar Bhatraju, Gurpreet Kaur Grewal, Anju Singh, Shrikant Kukreti, Kapaettu Satyamoorthy, Ritushree Kukreti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the progress made in the development of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), poor response to them is a rising concern in epilepsy treatment. Of several hypotheses explaining AED treatment failure, the most promising theory is the overexpression of multidrug transporters belonging to ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter family at blood-brain barrier. Previous data show that AEDs themselves can induce these transporters, in turn affecting their own brain bioavailability. Presently, this induction and the underlying regulatory mechanism involved at human blood-brain barrier is not well elucidated. Herein, we sought to explore the effect of most prescribed first- and second-line AEDs onmultidrug transporters in human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells, hCMEC/D3. Our work demonstrated that exposure of these cells to valproic acid (VPA) induced mRNA, protein, and functional activity of breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2). On examining the substrate interaction status of AEDs with BCRP, VPA, phenytoin, and lamotrigine were found to be potential BCRP substrates. Furthermore, we observed that siRNA-mediated knockdown of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARa) or use of PPARa antagonist, resulted in attenuation of VPA-induced BCRP expression and transporter activity. VPA was found to increase PPARa expression and trigger its translocation from cytoplasm to nucleus. Findings from chromatin immunoprecipitation and luciferase assays showed that VPA enhances the binding of PPARa to its response element in the ABCG2 promoter, resulting in elevated ABCG2 transcriptional activity. Taken together, these in vitro findings highlight PPARa as the potential molecular target to prevent VPA-mediated BCRP induction, which may have important implications in VPA pharmacoresistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-03-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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