Glyburide is frequently used to treat gestational diabetes owing to its low fetal accumulation resulting from placental efflux by the breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP)/ABCG2 transporter. Here we sought to determine how exposure to the dietary phytoestrogen genistein and expression of a loss-of-function polymorphism in the ABCG2 gene (C421A) impacted the transport of glyburide by BCRP using stably transfected human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK) cells, human placental choriocarcinoma BeWo cells, and human placental explants. Genistein competitively inhibited the BCRP-mediated transport of 3H-glyburide in both wild-type (WT) and C421A-BCRP HEK-expressing cells, with greater accumulation of 3H-glyburide in cells expressing the C421A variant. In BeWo cells, exposure to genistein for 60 minutes increased the accumulation of 3H-glyburide 30%–70% at concentrations relevant to dietary exposure (IC50 ∼180 nM). Continuous exposure of BeWo cells to genistein for 48 hours reduced the expression of BCRP mRNA and protein by up to 40%, which impaired BCRP transport activity. Pharmacologic antagonism of the estrogen receptor attenuated the genistein-mediated downregulation of BCRP expression, suggesting that phytoestrogens may reduce BCRP levels through this hormone receptor pathway in BeWo cells. Interestingly, genistein treatment for 48 hours did not alter BCRP protein expression in explants dissected from healthy term placentas. These data suggest that whereas genistein can act as a competitive inhibitor of BCRP-mediated transport, its ability to downregulate placental BCRP expression may only occur in choriocarcinoma cells. Overall, this research provides important mechanistic data regarding how the environment (dietary genistein) and a frequent genetic variant (ABCG2, C421A) may alter the maternal-fetal disposition of glyburide.
- Received October 30, 2015.
- Accepted February 2, 2016.
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences [Grants ES020522, ES005022, ES007148, ES020721]. Kristin Bircsak was supported by predoctoral fellowships from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
- Copyright © 2016 by The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics