Systematic expression analysis of genes related to multidrug-resistance in isogenic docetaxel- and adriamycin-resistant breast cancer cell lines.
Docetaxel (Doc) and adriamycin (Adr) are two of the most effective chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of breast cancer. However, their efficacy is often limited by the emergence of multidrug resistance (MDR). The purpose of this study was to investigate MDR mechanisms through analyzing systematically the expression changes of genes related to MDR in the induction process of isogenic drug resistant MCF-7 cell lines. Isogenic resistant sublines selected at 100 and 200 nM Doc (MCF-7/100 nM Doc and MCF-7/200 nM Doc) or at 500 and 1,500 nM Adr (MCF-7/500 nM Adr and MCF-7/1,500 nM) were developed from human breast cancer parental cell line MCF-7, by exposing MCF-7 to gradually increasing concentrations of Doc or Adr in vitro. Cell growth curve, flow cytometry and MTT cytotoxicity assay were preformed to evaluate the MDR characteristics developed in the sublines. Some key genes on the pathways related to drug resistance (including drug-transporters: MDR1, MRP1 and BCRP; drug metabolizing-enzymes: CYP3A4 and glutathione S-transferases (GST) pi; target genes: topoisomerase II (TopoII?) and Tubb3; apoptosis genes: Bcl-2 and Bax) were analyzed at RNA and protein expression levels by real time RT-qPCR and western blot, respectively. Compared to MCF-7/S (30.6 h), cell doubling time of MCF-7/Doc (41.6 h) and MCF-7/Adr (33.8 h) were both prolonged, and the cell proportion of resistant sublines in G1/G2 phase increased while that in S-phase decreased. MCF-7/100 nM Doc and MCF-7/200 nM Doc was 22- and 37-fold resistant to Doc, 18- and 32-fold to Adr, respectively. MCF-7/500 nM Adr and MCF-7/1,500 nM Adr was 61- and 274-fold resistant to Adr, three and 12-fold to Doc, respectively. Meantime, they also showed cross-resistance to the other anticancer drugs in different degrees. Compared to MCF-7/S, RT-qPCR and Western blot results revealed that the expression of MDR1, MRP1, BCRP, Tubb3 and Bcl-2 were elevated in both MCF-7/Doc and MCF-7/Adr, and TopoII?, Bax were down-regulated in both the sublines, while CYP3A4, GST pi were increased only in MCF-7/Doc and MCF-7/Adr respectively. Furthermore, the changes above were dose-dependent. The established MCF-7/Doc or MCF-7/Adr has the typical MDR characteristics, which can be used as the models for resistance mechanism study. The acquired process of MCF-7/S resistance to Doc or Adr is gradual, and is complicated with the various pathways involved in. There are some common resistant mechanisms as well as own drug-specific changes between both the sublines.