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Cytotechnology. 1998 Sep;27(1-3):203-24. doi: 10.1023/A:1008073006495.

Protein kinases and multidrug resistance.

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Department of Biology, University of York, York, YO1 5YW, England.,


The role of protein kinases in the multidrug resistance phenotype of cancer cell lines is discussed with an emphasis on protein kinase C and protein kinase A. Evidence that P-glycoprotein is phosphorylated by these kinases is summarised and the relationship between P-glycoprotein phosphorylation and the multidrug-resistant phenotype discussed. Results showing that protein kinase C, particularly the alpha subspecies, is overexpressed in many MDR cell lines are described: this common but by no means universal finding seems to be drug- and cell line-dependent and in only in a few cases is there a direct correlation between protein kinase C activity and multidrug resistance. From co-immunoprecipitation results it is suggested that P-glycoprotein is a specific protein kinase C receptor, as well as being a substrate. Revertant experiments provide conflicting results as to a direct relationship between expression of P-glycoprotein and protein kinase C. Evidence that protein kinase A influences P-glycoprotein expression at the gene level is well documented and the mechanisms by which this occurs are becoming clarified. Results on the relationship between protein kinase C and multidrug resistance using many inhibitors and phorbol esters are difficult to interpret because such compounds bind to P-glycoprotein. In spite of huge effort, a direct involvement of protein kinase C in regulating multidrug resistance has not yet been firmly established. However, evidence that PKC regulates a Pgp-independent mechanism of drug resistance is accumulating.

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