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Br J Cancer. 1998 Jun;77(12):2076-80.

Amplification and expression of the ABC transporters ARA and MRP in a series of multidrug-resistant leukaemia cell sublines.

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Clinical Oncology Department, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, Australia.


E1000, the most drug-resistant subline from the E-series (CCRF-CEM/E16 to E1000), has been previously shown to express high mRNA levels from two ABC transporter genes associated with multidrug resistance, ARA and MRP. The expression and amplification of both genes has now been characterized for each member of the E-series of drug-resistant sublines and is reported here. Both ARA [detected by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)] and MRP (detected by Northern blot analysis) were expressed at low levels in the sensitive parental CEM cell line. An equivalent level of MRP mRNA expression was detected throughout the CEM, E16, E25 and E50 sublines, and there was increasing expression in the E100, E200 and E1000 sublines. ARA expression was not detected in the E16, E25, E50 and E100 sublines but was detected by both RT-PCR and Northern blot analysis in the E200 and E1000 sublines. Southern blot analysis indicated the increased levels of MRP and ARA expression resulted from gene amplification and that MRP was first amplified in the E100 subline and ARA in the E200 subline, suggesting that the two genes were not initially co-amplified. Cytogenetic analysis of E1000 cells demonstrated a large addition to chromosome 16p, around the region where the ARA and MRP genes are located. Increased expression of ARA is associated with increased colchicine resistance in the E-series of sublines and combined with MRP may account for their resistance phenotype.

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