Effect of MDR modulators verapamil and promethazine on gene expression levels of MDR1 and MRP1 in doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7 cells
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Dönmez, Y., Akhmetova, L., İşeri, Ö.D. et al. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol (2011) 67: 823. doi:10.1007/s00280-010-1385-y
One of the major problems of cancer chemotherapy is the development of multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype. Among the numerous mechanisms of MDR, a prominent one is the increased expression of membrane transporter proteins, the action of which leads to decreased intracellular drug concentration and cytotoxicity of drugs. Among them, P-gp and MRP1, encoded by MDR1 and MRP1 genes, respectively, have been associated with MDR phenotype. Chemical modulators can be used to reverse MDR. These chemicals can either modulate MDR due to their substrate analogy (such as calcium channel blocker verapamil) or interact with phospholipid membranes (such as antihistaminic drug promethazine). This study focuses on the effect of verapamil and promethazine on the expression levels of MDR1 and MRP1 genes and the drug transport activity in doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7 breast carcinoma cell line.
Doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7 (MCF-7/Dox) cells were incubated with either verapamil or promethazine, and total RNA was isolated. Real-time PCR (qPCR) was carried out by using specific primers for MDR1, MRP1, and ß-actin genes. Intracellular doxorubicin accumulation was also examined by confocal laser scanning microscopy in treated cells.
Results demonstrated a significant decrease in both MDR1 and MRP1 expression levels after promethazine applications. It has also been shown that treatment of the cells with verapamil results in significant decrease in MDR1 mRNA levels. Confocal laser scanning microscopy images demonstrated that the intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin was increased after verapamil treatment in MCF-7/Dox cells.
The present study gives an idea about the efficiency of verapamil and promethazine on MDR reversal both in gene expression and in transport activity levels.