Multidrug resistance to chemotherapy is a major obstacle in the treatment of cancer patients. The best characterised mechanism responsible for multidrug resistance involves the expression of the MDR-1 gene product, P-glycoprotein. However, the resistance process is multifactorial. Studies of multidrug resistance mechanisms have relied on the analysis of cancer cell lines that have been selected and present cross-reactivity to a broad range of anticancer agents. This work characterises a multidrug resistant cell line, originally selected for resistance to the Vinca alkaloid vincristine and derived from the human erythroleukaemia cell K562. This cell line, named Lucena 1, overexpresses P-glycoprotein and have its resistance reversed by the chemosensitisers verapamil, trifluoperazine and cyclosporins A, D and G. Furthermore, we demonstrated that methylene blue was capable of partially reversing the resistance in this cell line. On the contrary, the use of 5-fluorouracil increased the resistance of Lucena 1. In addition to chemotherapics, Lucena 1 cells were resistant to ultraviolet A radiation and hydrogen peroxide and failed to mobilise intracellular calcium when thapsigargin was used. Changes in the cytoskeleton of this cell line were also observed.
The hallmark of CML (chronic myeloid leukaemia) is the BCR (breakpoint cluster region)–ABL fusion gene. CML evolves through three phases, based on both clinical and pathological features: a chronic phase, an accelerated phase and blast crisis. TKI (tyrosine kinase inhibitors) are the treatment modality for patients with chronic phase CML. The therapeutic potential of the TKI imatinib is affected by BCR–ABL dependent an independent mechanisms. Development of MDR (multidrug resistance) contributes to the overall clinical resistance. MDR involves overexpression of ABC -transporters (ATP-binding-cassette transporter) among other features. MDR studies include the analysis of cancer cell lines selected for resistance. CML blast crisis is accompanied by increased resistance to apoptosis. This work reviews the role played by the influx transporter OCT1 (organic cation transporter 1), by efflux ABC transporters, molecules involved in the modulation of apoptosis (p53, Bcl-2 family, CD95, IAPs (inhibitors of apoptosis protein)], Hh and Wnt/β-catenin pathways, cytoskeleton abnormalities and other features described in leukaemic cells of clinical samples and CML cell lines. An MDR cell line, Lucena-1, generated from K562 by stepwise exposure to vincristine, was used as our model and some potential anticancer drugs effective against the MDR cell line and patients’ samples are presented.
The multidrug-resistant (MDR) phenotype is multifactorial, and cell lines presenting multiple resistance mechanisms might be good models to understand the importance of the various pathways involved. The present work characterized a MDR chronic myeloid leukemia cell line, derived from K562 through a selective process using daunorubicin. This MDR cell line was shown to be resistant to vincristine, daunorubicin, and partially resistant to imatinib. It showed a slower duplication rate. Overexpression of ABCB1 and ABCC1 was observed at the protein and functional levels and the expression of CD95, a molecule related to cell death, was reduced in the MDR cell line. Conversely, no differences were observed related to the anti-apoptotic molecule Bcl-2 or p53 expression. The activation antigen CD69 was reduced in the MDR cell line and treatment with imatinib further decreased the expressed levels. Furthermore, secretion of IL-8 was diminished in the MDR cell line. When daunorubicin-selected cells were compared to another MDR cell line, Lucena 1, derived from the same parental line K562, and selected with vincristine, a different profile was observed in relation to most aspects studied. When both cell lines were silenced for ABCB1, differences in CD69 and CD95 were maintained, despite resistance reversal. These results reinforce the idea that cell lines selected in vitro may display multiple resistance strategies that may vary with the selective agent used as well as during different steps of the selection process.
The suggested involvement of ouabain in hypertension raised the need for a better understanding of its cellular action, but the mechanisms of ouabain toxicity are only now being uncovered. In the present study, we show that reduced glutathione (GSH) protected ouabain-sensitive (OS) cells from ouabain-induced toxicity and that the inhibition of GSH synthesis by D, L-buthionine-(S,R)-sulfoximine (BSO) sensitized ouabain-resistant (OR) cells. We could not observe formation of *OH or H2O2, but there was an increase in O2*-only in OS cells. Unexpectedly, an increased number of OR cells depolarized after treatment with ouabain, and BSO blocked this depolarization. Moreover, GSH increased ouabain-induced depolarization in OS cells. A sustained increase in tyrosine phosphorylation (P-Tyr) and Ras expression was observed after treatment of OS cells, and GSH prevented it. Conversely, BSO induced P-Tyr and Ras expression in ouabain-treated OR cells. The results obtained have three major implications: There is no direct correlation between membrane depolarization and ouabain-induced cell death; ouabain toxicity is not directly related to its classical action as a Na+, K+-ATPase inhibitor but seems to be associated to signal transduction, and GSH plays a major role in preventing ouabain-induced cell death.
A new pterocarpanquinone (5a) was synthesized through a palladium catalyzed oxyarylation reaction and was transformed, through electrophilic substitution reaction, into derivatives 5b-d. These compounds showed to be active against human leukemic cell lines and human lung cancer cell lines. Even multidrug resistant cells were sensitive to 5a, which presented low toxicity toward peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) cells and decreased the production of TNF-alpha by these cells. In the laboratory these pterocarpanquinones were reduced by sodium dithionite in the presence of thiophenol at physiological pH, as NAD(P)H quinone oxidoredutase-1 (NQO1) catalyzed two-electron reduction, and the resulting hydroquinone undergo structural rearrangements, leading to the formation of Michael acceptors, which were intercepted as adducts of thiophenol. These results suggest that these compounds could be activated by bioreduction.
P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is a membrane protein associated with multidrug resistance (MDR) due to its key role in mediating the traffic of chemotherapeutic drugs outside cancer cells, leading to a cellular response that hinders efforts toward successful therapy. With the aim of finding agents that circumvent the MDR phenotype mediated by P-gp, 15 compounds isolated from native and naturalized plants of Argentina were screened. Among these, the non-cytotoxic lignan (±) pinoresinol successfully restored sensitivity to doxorubicin from 7 μM in the P-gp overexpressed human myelogenous leukemia cells, Lucena 1. This resistance-reversing effect was confirmed by competitively increasing the intracellular doxorubicin accumulation and by significantly inhibiting the efflux of doxorubicin and, to a lesser extent, that of rhodamine 123. The activity obtained was similar to that observed with verapamil. No such results were observed in the sensitive parental K562 cell line. To gain deeper insight into the mode of action of pinoresinol, its effect on P-gp function and expression was examined. The docking simulations indicated that the lignan bound to P-gp at the apex of the V-shaped transmembrane cavity, involving transmembrane helices 4, 5, and 6, and partially overlapped the binding region of tariquidar, which was used as a positive control. These results would shed some light on the nature of its interaction with P-gp at molecular level and merit further mechanistic and kinetic studies. In addition, it showed a maximum 29% activation of ATP hydrolysis and antagonized verapamil-stimulated ATPase activity with an IC50 of 20.9 μM. On the other hand, pinoresinol decreased the presence of P-gp in the cell surface. Derivatives of pinoresinol with improved activity were identified by docking studies. The most promising one, the non-cytotoxic 1-acetoxypinoresinol, caused a reversion of doxorubicin resistance from 0.11 μM and thus higher activity than the lead compound. It also caused a significant increase in doxorubicin accumulation. Results were similar to those observed with verapamil. The results obtained positioned these compounds as potential candidates for effective agents to overcome P-gp-mediated MDR, leading to better outcomes for leukemia chemotherapy.
Despite the relevant therapeutic progresses obtained with imatinib, clinical resistance to this drug has emerged and reemerged after cytogenetic remission in a group of patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Therefore, novel treatment strategies are needed. In this study, we evaluated the anti-CML activity and mechanisms of action of LQB-118, a pterocarpanquinone structurally related to lapachol [2-hydroxy-3-(3-methyl-2-butenyl)-1,4-naphthoquinone]. LQB-118 treatment resulted in an important reduction of cell viability in cell lines derived from CML, both the vincristine-sensitive K562 cell line, and the resistant K562-Lucena (a cell line overexpressing P-glycoprotein). In agreement with these results, the induction of caspase-3 activation by this compound indicated that a significant rate of apoptosis was taking place. In these cell lines, apoptosis induced by LQB-118 was accompanied by a reduction of P-glycoprotein, survivin, and XIAP expression. Moreover, this effect was not restricted to cell lines as LQB-118 produced significant apoptosis rate in cells from CML patients exhibiting multifactorial drug resistance phenotype such as P-glycoprotein, MRP1 and p53 overexpression. The data suggest that LQB-118 has a potent anti-CML activity that can overcome multifactorial drug resistance mechanisms, making this compound a promising new anti-CML agent.
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