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J Clin Invest. 1995 Aug;96(2):1026-34.

Downregulation of mdr-1 expression by 8-Cl-cAMP in multidrug resistant MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.

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Medicine Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


8-Cl-cAMP, a site-selective analogue of cAMP, decreased mdr-1 expression in multidrug-resistant human breast cancer cells. A sixfold reduction of mdr-1 mRNA expression by 8-Cl-cAMP began within 8 h of treatment and was associated with a decrease in the synthesis of P-glycoprotein and with an increase in vinblastine accumulation. A reduction in mdr-1 expression after 8-Cl-cAMP treatment was also observed in multidrug-resistant human ovarian cancer cell lines. 8-Cl-cAMP is known to change the ratio between the two regulatory subunits, RI and RII, of protein kinase A (PKA). We observed that RI alpha decreased within 24 h of 8-Cl-cAMP treatment, that RII beta increased after as few as 3 h of treatment, and that PKA catalytic activity remained unchanged during 48 h of 8-Cl-cAMP treatment. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that mdr-1 expression is regulated in part by changes in PKA isoenzyme levels. Although 8-Cl-cAMP has been used to differentiate cells in other model systems, the only differentiating effect that could be detected after 8-Cl-cAMP treatment in the MCF-7TH cells was an increase in cytokeratin expression. Evidence that the reduction of mdr-1 mRNA occurred at the level of gene transcription was obtained by measuring chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) mRNA in MCF-7TH cells transfected with an mdr-1 promoter-CAT construct prior to 8-Cl-cAMP treatment. Thus, 8-Cl-cAMP is able to downregulate mdr-1 expression and suggests a new approach to reversal of drug resistance in human breast cancer.

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