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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 1997 Mar;16(1):29-32.

Induction of the multidrug-transporter P-glycoprotein by 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT) treatment in tumor cell lines.

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Institute of Virology, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


A major form of multidrug resistance, which represents a serious obstacle to the success of chemotherapy, is caused by the over-expression of MDR-1 gene encoded P-glycoprotein. The present investigation was aimed to determine whether AZT, a cytostatic agent that interferes with the human immunodeficiency virus replication, is able to induce MDR-1 expression in tumor cells. After a short term exposure of human lymphoblastoid cells to AZT MDR-1 P-glycoprotein was found in the treated cells. This ATP-dependent drug-efflux pump interferred with cytotoxic efficacy of anticancer drugs such as vinblastine. This phenomenon should be carefully considered during anti-viral and anti-tumoral combined chemotherapies in AIDS patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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