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Cancer Lett. 2009 Jun 28;279(1):39-46. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2009.01.018. Epub 2009 Feb 12.

TRAP1, a novel mitochondrial chaperone responsible for multi-drug resistance and protection from apoptotis in human colorectal carcinoma cells.

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Clinical Oncology Unit, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Foggia, Viale Pinto 1, 71100 Foggia, Italy.


TRAP1 is a component of a pro-survival mitochondrial pathway up-regulated in tumor cells. The evaluation of TRAP1 expression in 26 human colorectal carcinomas showed up-regulation in 17/26 tumors. Accordingly, TRAP1 levels were increased in HT-29 colorectal carcinoma cells resistant to 5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin and irinotecan. Thus, we investigated the role of TRAP1 in multi-drug resistance in human colorectal cancer. Interestingly, TRAP1 overexpression leads to 5-fluorouracil-, oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-resistant phenotypes in different neoplastic cells. Conversely, the inhibition of TRAP1 activity by TRAP1 ATPase antagonist, shepherdin, increased the sensitivity to oxaliplatin and irinotecan in colorectal carcinoma cells resistant to the single agents. These results suggest that the increased expression of TRAP1 could be part of a pro-survival pathway responsible for multi-drug resistance.

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