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      Revisiting the role of ABC transporters in multidrug-resistant cancer

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="P1">Most patients who die of cancer have disseminated disease that has become resistant to multiple therapeutic modalities. Ample evidence suggests that the expression of ATP- binding cassette (ABC) transporters, especially the multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1, also known as P- glycoprotein or P-gp), which is encoded by ABC subfamily B member 1 ( <i>ABCB1</i>), can confer resistance to cytotoxic and targeted chemotherapy. However, the development of MDR1 as a therapeutic target has been unsuccessful. At the time of its discovery, appropriate tools for the characterization and clinical development of MDR1 as a therapeutic target were lacking. Thirty years after the initial cloning and characterization of MDR1 and the implication of two additional ABC transporters, the multidrug resistance associated protein 1 (MRP1; encoded by <i>ABCC1</i>)), and ABCG2, in multidrug resistance, interest in investigating these transporters as therapeutic targets has waned. However, with the emergence of new data and advanced techniques, we propose to re- evaluate whether these transporters play a clinical role in multidrug resistance. With this Opinion article, we present recent evidence indicating that it is time to revisit the investigation into the role of ABC transporters in efficient drug delivery in various cancer types and at the blood–brain barrier. </p>

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          Most cited references 131

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          Disruption of the mouse mdr1a P-glycoprotein gene leads to a deficiency in the blood-brain barrier and to increased sensitivity to drugs.

          We have generated mice homozygous for a disruption of the mdr1a (also called mdr3) gene, encoding a drug-transporting P-glycoprotein. The mice were viable and fertile and appeared phenotypically normal, but they displayed an increased sensitivity to the centrally neurotoxic pesticide ivermectin (100-fold) and to the carcinostatic drug vinblastine (3-fold). By comparison of mdr1a (+/+) and (-/-) mice, we found that the mdr1a P-glycoprotein is the major P-glycoprotein in the blood-brain barrier and that its absence results in elevated drug levels in many tissues (especially in brain) and in decreased drug elimination. Our findings explain some of the side effects in patients treated with a combination of carcinostatics and P-glycoprotein inhibitors and indicate that these inhibitors might be useful in selectively enhancing the access of a range of drugs to the brain.
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            Mammalian drug efflux transporters of the ATP binding cassette (ABC) family: an overview.

            Active drug efflux transporters of the ATP binding cassette (ABC)-containing family of proteins have a major impact on the pharmacological behavior of most of the drugs in use today. Pharmacological properties affected by ABC transporters include the oral bioavailability, hepatobiliary, direct intestinal, and urinary excretion of drugs and drug-metabolites and -conjugates. Moreover, the penetration of drugs into a range of important pharmacological sanctuaries, such as brain, testis, and fetus, and the penetration into specific cell- and tissue compartments can be extensively limited by ABC transporters. These interactions with ABC transporters determine to a large extent the clinical usefulness, side effects and toxicity risks of drugs. Many other xenotoxins, (pre-)carcinogens and endogenous compounds are also influenced by the ABC transporters, with corresponding consequences for the well-being of the individual. We aim to provide an overview of properties of the mammalian ABC transporters known to mediate significant transport of clinically relevant drugs.
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              P-glycoprotein: from genomics to mechanism.

              Resistance to chemically different natural product anti-cancer drugs (multidrug resistance, or MDR) results from decreased drug accumulation, resulting from expression of one or more ATP-dependent efflux pumps. The first of these to be identified was P-glycoprotein (P-gp), the product of the human MDR1 gene, localized to chromosome 7q21. P-gp is a member of the large ATP-binding cassette (ABC) family of proteins. Although its crystallographic 3-D structure is yet to be determined, sequence analysis and comparison to other ABC family members suggest a structure consisting of two transmembrane (TM) domains, each with six TM segments, and two nucleotide-binding domains. In the epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and kidney, and capillaries of the brain, testes, and ovaries, P-gp acts as a barrier to the uptake of xenobiotics, and promotes their excretion in the bile and urine. Polymorphisms in the MDR1 gene may affect the pharmacokinetics of many commonly used drugs, including anticancer drugs. Substrate recognition of many different drugs occurs within the TM domains in multiple-overlapping binding sites. We have proposed a model for how ATP energizes transfer of substrates from these binding sites on P-gp to the outside of the cell, which accounts for the apparent stoichiometry of two ATPs hydrolysed per molecule of drug transported. Understanding of the biology, genetics, and biochemistry of P-gp promises to improve the treatment of cancer and explain the pharmacokinetics of many commonly used drugs.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Cancer
                Nat Rev Cancer
                Springer Nature
                1474-175X
                1474-1768
                April 11 2018
                Article
                10.1038/s41568-018-0005-8
                6622180
                29643473
                8b11f913-4c86-4ac7-a1ff-102d97fd3929
                © 2018

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