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Biochem Pharmacol. 1998 Jan 15;55(2):131-9.

Altered drug membrane permeability in a multidrug-resistant Leishmania tropica line.

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Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina Lopez-Neyra, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Granada, Spain.


We selected a Leishmania tropica cell line resistant to daunomycin (DNM) that presents a multidrug-resistant (MDR) phenotype characterized by overexpression of a P-glycoprotein of 150 kDa. The resistant line overexpressed an MDR-like gene, called ltrmdr1, located in an extrachromosomal circular DNA. DNM uptake experiments using laser flow cytometry showed a significant reduction in drug accumulation in the resistant parasites. The initial stages of the interaction of DNM with membranes from wild-type and DNM-resistant parasites were defined by a rapid kinetic stopped-flow procedure which can be described by two kinetic components. On the basis of a previous similar kinetic study with tumor cells, we ascribed the fast component to rapid interaction of DNM with membrane surface components and the slow component to passive diffusion of the drug across the membranes. The results reported here indicate that entrance of DNM into wild-type parasites was facilitated in respect to the resistant ones. We propose that resistance to DNM in L. tropica is a multifactorial event involving at least two complementary mechanisms. an altered drug membrane permeability and the overexpression of a protein related to P-glycoprotein that regulates drug efflux.

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