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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1987 Jan;84(1):265-9.

Expression of a multidrug-resistance gene in human tumors and tissues.


The identification and cloning of a segment of a human multidrug resistance gene (mdr1) was reported recently. To examine the molecular basis of one type of multidrug resistance, we have prepared RNA from human tumors and normal tissues and measured their content of mdr1 RNA. We find that the mdr1 gene is expressed at a very high level in the adrenal gland; at a high level in the kidney; at intermediate levels in the lung, liver, lower jejunum, colon, and rectum; and at low levels in many other tissues. The mdr1 gene is also expressed in several human tumors, including many but not all tumors derived from the adrenal gland and the colon. In addition, increased expression was detected in a few tumors at the time of relapse following initial chemotherapy. Although controlled clinical studies will be required, our results suggest that measurement of mdr1 RNA may prove to be a valuable tool in the design of chemotherapy protocols.

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