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J Biol Chem. 2001 Jan 5;276(1):413-20.

2-acetylaminofluorene up-regulates rat mdr1b expression through generating reactive oxygen species that activate NF-kappa B pathway.

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Department of Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Overexpression of multidrug resistance genes and their encoded P-glycoproteins is a major mechanism for the development of multidrug resistance in cancer cells. The hepatocarcinogen 2-acetylaminofluorene (2-AAF) efficiently activates rat mdr1b expression. However, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that a NF-kappa B site on the mdr1b promoter was required for this induction. Overexpression of antisense p65 and I kappa B alpha partially abolished the induction. We then delineated the pathway through which 2-AAF activates NF-kappa B. 2-AAF treatment led to the increase of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) which causes activation of IKK kinases, degradation of I kappa B beta (but not I kappa B alpha), and increase in NF-kappa B DNA binding activity. Consistent with the idea that ROS may participate in mdr1b regulation, antioxidant N-acetylcysteine inhibited the induction of mdr1b by 2-AAF. Overproduction of a physiological antioxidant glutathione (GSH) blocked the activation of IKK kinase complex and NF-kappa B DNA binding. Based on these results, we conclude that 2-AAF up-regulates mdr1b through the generation of ROS, activation of IKK kinase, degradation of I kappa B beta, and subsequent activation of NF-kappa B. This is the first report that reveals the specific cis-elements and signaling pathway responsible for the induction of mdr1b by the chemical carcinogen 2-AAF.

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