ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the contribution of drug transporters in acquired imatinib-resistance. Specifically, we focused on the efflux transporters, P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), and an influx transporter, organic cation transporter 1 (OCT1).
We established imatinib-resistant K562 cells (K562/IM). Real-time PCR or Western blot analyses were performed to examine the mRNA or protein levels. Alamar blue method was used in the cytotoxicity assay. The transport activities and intracellular imatinib levels were measured by flow cytometry and HPLC, respectively.
K562/IM displayed a 47-fold increase in resistance to imatinib over the parent K562 cells. Both P-gp and BCRP were overexpressed in K562/IM relative to K562. Furthermore, the intracellular imatinib level was markedly reduced in K562/IM. Interestingly, cyclosporin A, a P-gp inhibitor, but not fumitremorgin C, a BCRP inhibitor, restored both imatinib-sensitivity and the intracellular imatinib level. By contrast, no significant difference in the expression and function of OCT1 was observed between K562/IM and K562.
P-gp, rather than BCRP or OCT1, is partially responsible for the development of imatinib-resistance due to constitutive and functional overexpression, leading to reduced intracellular accumulation of imatinib in K562/IM.
Pharmaceutical Research 05/2008; 25(4):827-35. · 4.09 Impact Factor