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We tested the hypothesis that combined increased expression of human glutathione S-transferase P1-1 (GSTP1-1), an enzyme that catalyzes the conjugation with glutathione of several toxic electrophiles, and the glutathione-conjugate efflux pump, multidrug resistance protein (MRP), confers high level resistance to the cytotoxicities of anticancer and other drugs. To accomplish this, we developed MCF7 breast carcinoma cell derivatives that express high levels of GSTP1-1 and MRP, alone and in combination. Parental MCF7 cells, which express no GSTP1-1 and negligible MRP, served as control cells. We found that either MRP or GSTP1-1 alone conferred significant resistance to ethacrynic acid cytotoxicity. Moreover, combined expression of GSTP1-1 and MRP conferred a high level of resistance to ethacrynic acid that was greater than resistance conferred by either protein alone. Increased MRP was also associated with modest resistance to the oxazaphosphorine compounds mafosfamide, 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide, and 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide. However, coordinated expression of GSTP1-1 with MRP failed to augment this modest resistance. Similarly, GSTP1-1 had no effect on the sensitivities to cisplatin of MCF7 cells regardless of MRP expression. These results establish that coordinated expression of MRP and GSTP1-1 can confer high level resistance to the cytotoxicities of some drugs, including ethacrynic acid, but that such resistance is variable and does not apply to all toxic drugs that can potentially form glutathione conjugates in either spontaneous or GSTP1-1-catalyzed reactions.


C S Morrow, P K Smitherman, A J Townsend. Combined expression of multidrug resistance protein (MRP) and glutathione S-transferase P1-1 (GSTP1-1) in MCF7 cells and high level resistance to the cytotoxicities of ethacrynic acid but not oxazaphosphorines or cisplatin. Biochemical pharmacology. 1998 Oct 15;56(8):1013-21

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PMID: 9776312

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