Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin

Schedule-dependent cytotoxicity of Etoposide and cyclophosphamide in P-glycoprotein-expressing human leukemic K-562 cells.

PMID 25087953


Combination chemotherapy is often used to treat cancer. Many studies have shown schedule-dependent effects between anticancer drugs. Our previous studies showed that K-562 cells pretreated with non-cytotoxic concentrations of 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide (4-HPC), which is a preactivated analog of cyclophosphamide (CY), enhanced the cytotoxicity of etoposide (VP-16). The appearance of cellular resistance to anticancer drugs is a major problem in cancer chemotherapy. P-Glycoprotein (P-gp) plays an important role in drug resistance, and VP-16 is a substrate for this efflux pump. In the present study, we demonstrated schedule-dependent cytotoxicity of VP-16 and CY in P-gp-overexpressed K-562/P-gp cells. Cytotoxicity of VP-16 was enhanced in K-562/P-gp cells that were pretreated with a non-cytotoxic concentration of 4-HPC compared to that of cells not treated with 4-HPC. 4-HPC arrested the cell cycle at S phase. Cells in S phase are most sensitive to VP-16. The results suggest that cell cycle arrest by 4-HPC pretreatment may be responsible for the enhanced cytotoxicity of VP-16. The findings in this study should lead to improvements in clinical combination chemotherapy.