Cancer biology & therapy

Dasatinib reverses the multidrug resistance of breast cancer MCF-7 cells to doxorubicin by downregulating P-gp expression via inhibiting the activation of ERK signaling pathway.

PMID 25482933


Multidrug resistance (MDR) is one of the major obstacles to the efficiency of cancer chemotherapy, which often results from the overexpression of drug efflux transporters such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp). In the present study, we determined the effect of dasatinib which was approved for imatinib resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and (Ph(+)) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treatment on P-gp-mediated MDR. Our results showed that dasatinib significantly increased the sensitivity of P-gp-overexpressing MCF-7/Adr cells to doxorubicin in MTT assays; thus lead to an enhanced cytotoxicity of doxorubicin in MCF-7/Adr cells. Additionally, dasatinib increased the intracellular accumulation, inhibited the efflux of doxorubicin in MCF-7/Adr cells, and significantly enhanced doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in MCF-7/Adr cells. Further studies showed that dasatinib altered the expression levels of mRNA, protein levels of P-gp, and the phosphorylation of signal-regulated kinase (ERK) both in time-dependent (before 24 h) and dose-dependent manners at concentrations that produced MDR reversals. In conclusion, dasatinib reverses P-gp-mediated MDR by downregulating P-gp expression, which may be partly attributed to the inhibition of ERK pathway. Dasatinib may play an important role in circumventing MDR when combined with other conventional antineoplastic drugs.