What is P-glycoprotein?


What is it’s purpose in the human body? How does it work, what does it do?

In: 3

It’s a pump. Specifically, it’s a pump for taking suspicious molecules that have gotten across a cell membrane and pumping them back where they came from.

There’s a lot of P-glycoprotein in places like the gut (so you can absorb nutrients but reject toxins) and the blood-brain barrier (so you can tightly control what’s allowed to affect the brain.) Many drugs are pumped out by P-glycoprotein, limiting their absorption. Other drugs make it less effective and allow more stuff to get into cells. Cancer cells may even end up making a ridiculous amount of P-glycoprotein as a defense against chemotherapy.