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    Resistance to chemotherapy remains one of the most significant obstacles to successful cancer treatment. While inhibiting drug efflux mediated by ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters is a seemingly attractive and logical approach to combat multidrug resistance (MDR), small molecule inhibition of ABC transporters has so far failed to confer clinical benefit, despite considerable efforts by medicinal chemists, biologists, and clinicians. The long-sought treatment to eradicate cancers displaying ABC transporter overexpression may therefore lie within alternative targeting strategies. When aberrantly expressed, the ABC transporter multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1, ABCC1) confers MDR, but can also shift cellular redox balance, leaving the cell vulnerable to select agents. Here, we explore the physiological roles of MRP1, the rational for targeting this transporter in cancer, the development of small molecule MRP1 inhibitors, and the most recent developments in alternative therapeutic approaches for targeting cancers with MRP1 overexpression. We discuss approaches that extend beyond simple MRP1 inhibition by exploiting the collateral sensitivity to glutathione depletion and ferroptosis, the rationale for targeting the shared transcriptional regulators of both MRP1 and glutathione biosynthesis, advances in gene silencing, and new molecules that modulate transporter activity to the detriment of the cancer cell. These strategies illustrate promising new approaches to address multidrug resistant disease that extend beyond the simple reversal of MDR and offer exciting routes for further research. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Kimberley M Hanssen, Michelle Haber, Jamie I Fletcher. Targeting multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1)-expressing cancers: Beyond pharmacological inhibition. Drug resistance updates : reviews and commentaries in antimicrobial and anticancer chemotherapy. 2021 Dec;59:100795

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    PMID: 34983733

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