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Biochem Pharmacol. 2001 Sep 15;62(6):765-72.

Effects of miltefosine on various biochemical parameters in a panel of tumor cell lines with different sensitivities.

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Institute of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Innsbruck, Fritz-Pregl-Str. 3, A-6020, Innsbruck, Austria.


We investigated endocytosis activity, uptake of miltefosine (hexadecylphosphocholine), phospholipid and cholesterol content, the cell cycle, and apoptosis in 13 tumor cell lines (MCF7, MCF7/ADR, KB-3-1, KB-8-5, KB-C1, HeLa, HeLa-MDR1-G185, HeLa-MDR1-V185, CCRF/CEM, CCRF/VCR1000, CCRF/ADR5000, HL-60, HL-60/AR) with different sensitivities to treatment with the antitumor phospholipid analogues miltefosine and D-21266 (octadecyl-(N,N-dimethyl-piperidino-4-yl)-phosphate). In this panel of cell lines, MDR1 (multidrug resistance gene 1)- and MRP1 (multidrug resistance-associated protein)-expressing cells were found to be slightly more resistant to both compounds than sensitive parental cells. No correlation was found between resistance to miltefosine and endocytosis, intracellular concentration of miltefosine, the phospholipid and cholesterol content, induction of apoptosis, or cell cycle alterations in all the cell lines tested. Wild-type p53 containing WMN Burkitt's lymphoma cells and wild type p53-deficient CA46 exhibited similar sensitivities to miltefosine. The low percentage of apoptosis induced in MCF7 cells lacking caspase 3 indicated that caspase 3 seems to play an essential role in miltefosine-induced apoptosis.

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