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Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 1995;35(5):403-10.

Subcellular localisation of the antitumour drug mitoxantrone and the induction of DNA damage in resistant and sensitive human colon carcinoma cells.

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MRC Clinical Oncology and Radiotherapeutics Unit, MRC Centre, Cambridge, UK.


Cellular uptake and subcellular localisation of the antitumour agent mitoxantrone were studied in a human colon-carcinoma cell line and a mitoxantrone-resistant subline showing features consistent with an atypical multidrug-resistance phenotype involving altered topoisomerase II. Flow cytometry indicated a reduced uptake of mitoxantrone in the resistant line. Confocal microscopy indicated that mitoxantrone-associated fluorescence was primarily found within discrete cytoplasmic inclusions and around the periphery of the nucleus, with low levels being observed within the nucleus. The frequency of cytoplasmic inclusions was reduced in mitoxantrone-resistant cells as compared with parental cells. Fluorescence in cytoplasmic inclusions persisted throughout a 24-h post-treatment period in both cell lines. The results suggest that the persistence of mitoxantrone in cells is a determinant for the continuous induction of DNA damage, perhaps through chronic topoisomerase II trapping, and that modified sequestration may contribute to clinically relevant moderate levels of non-classic multidrug resistance.

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