Doxorubicin-peptide conjugates overcome multidrug resistance

Mazel, M.; Clair, P.; Rousselle, C.; Vidal, P.; Scherrmann, J. M.; Mathieu, D.; Temsamani, J.

Anti-Cancer Drugs

2001-02 / vol 12 / pages 107-116


A well-known mechanism leading to the emergence of multidrug-resistant tumor cells is the overexpression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), which is capable of lowering intracellular drug concentrations. To overcome this problem, we tested the capability of two peptide vectors that are able to cross cellular membranes to deliver doxorubicin in P-gp-expressing cells. The antitumor effect of peptide-conjugated doxorubicin was tested in human erythroleukemic (K562/ADR) resistant cells. The conjugate showed potent dose-dependent inhibition of cell growth against K562/ADR cells as compared with doxorubicin alone. Doxorubicin exhibited IC50 concentrations of 65 muM in the resistant cells, whereas vectorized doxorubicin was more effective with IC50 concentrations of 3 muM. After treatment of the resistant cells with verapamil, the intracellular levels of doxorubicin were markedly increased and consequent cytotoxicity was improved. In contrast, treatment of resistant cells with verapamil did not cause any further enhancement in the cell uptake nor in the cytotoxic effect of the conjugated doxorubicin, indicating that the conjugate bypasses the P-gp. Finally, we show by the in situ brain perfusion method in P-gp-deficient and competent mice that vectorized doxorubicin bypasses the P-gp present at the luminal site of the blood-brain barrier. These results indicate that vectorization of doxorubicin with peptide vectors is effective in overcoming multidrug resistance. [(C) 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.].



cancer; adriamycin; blood-brain barrier; blood-brain-barrier; cells in-vitro; cyclosporine-a; doxorubicin; drug-delivery; k562 cells; multidrug resistance; p-glycoprotein; peptide vector; tumor-cells; vincristine resistance

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