ABC transporters affect the detection of intracellular oxidants by fluorescent probes
Intracellular production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays an important role in the control of cell physiology. For the assessment of intracellular ROS production, a plethora of fluorescent probes is commonly used. Interestingly, chemical structures of these probes imply they could be substrates of plasma membrane efflux pumps, called ABC transporters. This study tested whether the determination of intracellular ROS production and mitochondrial membrane potential by selected fluorescent probes is modulated by the expression and activity of ABC transporters. The sub-clones of the HL-60 cell line over-expressing MDR1, MRP1 and BCRP transporters were employed. ROS production measured by luminol- and L-012-enhaced chemiluminescence and cytochrome c reduction assay showed similar levels of ROS production in all the employed cell lines. It was proved that dihydrorhodamine 123, dihexiloxocarbocyanine iodide, hydroethidine, tetrachloro-tetraethylbenzimidazolocarbo-cyanine iodide and tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester perchlorate are substrates for MDR1; dichlorodihydrofluoresceine, hydroethidine and tetramethylrhodamine ethyl ester perchlorate are substrates for MRP1; dichlorodihydrofluoresceine, dihydrorhodamine 123, hydroethidine and tetrachloro-tetraethylbenzimidazolocarbo-cyanine iodide are substrates for BCRP. Thus, the determination of intracellular ROS and mitochondrial potential by the selected probes is significantly altered by ABC transporter activities. The activity of these transporters must be considered when employing fluorescent probes for the assessment of ROS production or mitochondrial membrane potential.