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Br J Cancer. 2011 Feb 15;104(4):707-13. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6606071. Epub 2011 Jan 4.

Role of multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2) in chemoresistance and clinical outcome in oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 2-2-E2, Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.



Although multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2) confers chemoresistance in some cancer types, its implication on oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) remains unclear.


We evaluated MRP2 expression by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR using 81 resected specimens from ESCC patients who did or did not receive neo-adjuvant chemotherapy (NACT), including 5-fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (CDDP). Correlation between MRP2 expression and response to chemotherapy was also examined in 42 pre-therapeutic biopsy samples and eight ESCC cell lines.


MRP2-positive immunostaining was more frequently observed in ESCCs with NACT than in those without NACT (27.3 vs 5.4%). The MRP2-positive patients showed poorer prognosis than MRP2-negative patients (5-year survival rate, 25.6 vs 55.7%). Concordantly, ESCC with NACT showed 2.1-fold higher mRNA expression of MRP2 than those without NACT (P=0.0350). In pre-therapeutic biopsy samples of patients with NACT, non-responders showed 2.9-fold higher mRNA expression of MRP2 than responders (P=0.0035). Among the panel of ESCC cell lines, TE14 showed the highest MRP2 mRNA expression along with the strongest resistance to CDDP. Inhibition of MRP2 expression by small-interfering RNA reduced chemoresistance to CDDP.


Our data suggested that MRP2 is one of molecules, which regulate the sensitivity to chemotherapy including CDDP in advanced ESCC patients.

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