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Cancer Res. 1996 Aug 15;56(16):3642-4.

Frequent coordinated overexpression of the MRP/GS-X pump and gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase genes in human colorectal cancers.

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Department of Molecular Pathology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.


We have recently shown that multidrug resistance-associated protein (MRP) and gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS) heavy subunit genes are coordinately overexpressed in cisplatin-resistant human leukemia cells (T. Ishikawa et al. J. Biol. Chem., 271: 14981-14988, 1996). Using the RNase protection assay, we examined expression levels of these genes in colon tumor and nontumorous biopsy specimens from 32 cancer patients who had not been treated with chemotherapy. Increased mRNA levels (P < 0.001) of MRP and gamma-GCS genes were observed in 16 (50%) and 20 (62%) tumor samples, respectively. More importantly, all of the 16 (100%) MRP-overexpressing tumor specimens also exhibited higher levels of gamma-GCS mRNA than those in the matched nontumorous specimens. The correlation coefficient between MRP and gamma-GCS mRNA levels was r = 0.78 for all of the tumor samples studied. These results strongly suggest that MRP and gamma-GCS genes are coordinately up-regulated during colorectal carcinogenesis.

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