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J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2005 Apr;313(1):112-20. Epub 2005 Jan 11.

Trimers of N-alkylglycines are potent modulators of the multidrug resistance phenotype.

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Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Ed. Torregaitán, Av. de la Universidad s/n, 03202 Elche (Alicante), Spain.


The multidrug resistance (MDR) phenotype is considered a major cause of the failure of cancer chemotherapy. The acquisition of MDR is usually mediated by the overexpression of drug efflux pumps such as glycoprotein P (P-gp) or multidrug resistance-related protein 1 (MRP1). Thus, the identification, validation, and development of compounds that mitigate the MDR phenotype by modulating the activity of these transport proteins is an important yet elusive target. Here, we have addressed this issue and screened an N-trialkylglycine-based combinatorial library composed of 5120 compounds to search for modulators of the MDR phenotype. The screening identified 20 trimers of N-alkylglycine that increased the intracellular accumulation of daunomycin (DNM) in drug-resistant L1210R tumor cells that overexpressed the P-gp. These compounds seem to act as P-gp antagonists, as evidenced by the augmentation of DNM accumulation in the L1210(P-gp) cell line, a drug-sensitive L1210 cell stably expressing the murine P-gp protein. Similarly, several of the active N-trialkylglycines also produced an increment in DNM uptake in human HL60R cells, which primarily express the MRP1 protein. Trialkylglycines notably sensitized L1210R and HL60R tumor cells to DNM with a potency that rivaled that of verapamil. These findings provide new molecular scaffolds for the development of effective chemosensitizers against the MDR phenotype that, in due turn, could be used as adjuvant drugs in cancer chemotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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