P-glycoprotein (Pgp) is a 170-kDa transmembrane protein that mediates the efflux of anticancer drugs from cells. Pgp overexpression has a distinct role in cells exhibiting multidrug resistance (MDR). We examined reversal of drug resistance in human MDR breast cancer cells by inhibition of protein kinase Cα (PKCα) activity, which is associated with Pgp-mediated efflux of anticancer drugs. PKCα activity was confirmed by measurement of phosphorylation levels of a PKCα-specific peptide substrate (FKKQGSFAKKK-NH2), showing relatively higher basal activity in drug-resistant MCF-7/ADR cells (84 %) than that in drug-sensitive MCF-7 cells (63 %). PKCα activity was effectively suppressed by the PKC inhibitor, Ro-31-7549, and reversal of intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin was observed by inhibition of PKCα activity in MCF-7/ADR cells compared with their intrinsic drug resistance. Importantly, increased accumulation of doxorubicin could enhance the therapeutic efficacy of doxorubicin in MDR cells significantly. These results suggest a potential for overcoming MDR via inhibition of PKCα activity with conventional anticancer drugs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research