ABCB1 in dermatology: roles in skin diseases and their treatment

H. J. Weng, T. F. Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Adenosine triphosphate–binding cassette subfamily B member 1 (ABCB1), also known as permeability glycoprotein, multidrug-resistant protein 1, or cluster of differentiation 243 (CD243), is a crucial protein for purging foreign substances from cells. The functions of ABCB1 have been investigated extensively for their roles in cancer, stem cells, and drug resistance. Abundant pharmacogenetic studies have been conducted on ABCB1 and its association with treatment responsiveness to various agents, particularly chemotherapeutic and immunomodulatory agents. However, its functions in the skin and implications on dermatotherapeutics are far less reported. In this article, we reviewed the roles of ABCB1 in dermatology. ABCB1 is expressed in the skin and its appendages during drug delivery and transport. It is associated with treatment responsiveness to various agents, including topical steroids, methotrexate, cyclosporine, azathioprine, antihistamines, antifungal agents, colchicine, tacrolimus, ivermectin, tetracycline, retinoid acids, and biologic agents. Moreover, genetic variation in ABCB1 is associated with the pathogenesis of several dermatoses, including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, melanoma, bullous pemphigoid, Behçet disease, and lichen planus. Further investigation is warranted to elucidate the roles of ABCB1 in dermatology and the possibility of enhancing therapeutic efficacy through ABCB1 manipulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1538
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • ABCB1
  • Permeability glycoprotein
  • Pharmacogenetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)


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