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Biochem Pharmacol. 2008 Mar 15;75(6):1302-12. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2007.12.001. Epub 2007 Dec 14.

Inhibition of P-glycoprotein (ABCB1)- and multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (ABCC1)-mediated transport by the orally administered inhibitor, CBT-1((R)).

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Medical Oncology Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Cellular expression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transport proteins, such as P-glycoprotein (Pgp), multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP1), or ABCG2, is known to confer a drug-resistant phenotype. Thus, the development of effective transporter inhibitors could be of value to cancer treatment. CBT-1 is a bisbenzylisoquinoline plant alkyloid currently in development as a Pgp inhibitor. We characterized its interactions with the three major ABC transporters associated with drug resistance - Pgp, MRP1 and ABCG2 - and compared it to other known inhibitors. CBT-1 completely inhibited rhodamine 123 transport from Pgp-overexpressing cells at a concentration of 1muM. Additionally, 1 microM completely reversed Pgp-mediated resistance to vinblastine, paclitaxel and depsipeptide in SW620 Ad20 cells. CBT-1 was found to compete [(125)I]-IAAP labeling of Pgp with an IC(50) of 0.14 microM, and low concentrations of CBT-1 (<1 microM) stimulated Pgp-mediated ATP hydrolysis. In MRP1-overexpressing cells, 10 microM CBT-1 was found to completely inhibit MRP1-mediated calcein transport. CBT-1 at 25 microM did not have a significant effect on ABCG2-mediated pheophorbide a transport. Serum levels of CBT-1 in samples obtained from eight patients receiving CBT-1 increased intracellular rhodamine 123 levels in CD56+ cells 2.1- to 5.7-fold in an ex vivo assay. CBT-1 is able to inhibit the ABC transporters Pgp and MRP1, making it an attractive candidate for clinical trials in cancers where Pgp and/or MRP1 might be overexpressed. Further clinical studies with CBT-1 are warranted.

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