The ATP-binding cassette subfamily B (ABCB) family belongs to the transport system superfamily. It is composed of four full transporters and two half transporters. ABCB1, also known as P-glycoprotein, is a well-characterized ABC reporter in terms of its tissue distribution, functions in cancer cells, and clinical significance. ABCB4 is localized at the canalicular membrane of hepatocytes and mediates the translocation of phosphatidylcholine into bile. Genetic defects of ABCB4 may cause progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 3 (PFIC3) and other cholestatic or cholelithiasis diseases in heterozygous adults. ABCB5 has been shown to serve as a clinically relevant multidrug resistance mediator in human malignant melanoma, colorectal cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. ABCB6 is a mitochondrial transporter that regulates porphyrin biosynthesis and it may play a role in cell growth and proliferation by targeting the cell cycle. Mutations in ABCB6 cause diseases like ocular coloboma. ABCB11 is the bile salt export pump (BSEP), the major transporter responsible for biliary bile acid secretion, which expression is restricted to hepatocytes.
Here, we give an introduction to the following ABCB members focusing on our current knowledge on their expression, trafficking, function, and recent advances in fundamental research with promising therapeutic perspectives.
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