Expression of multidrug-resistance P-glycoprotein (MDR1) in human brain tumors

Int J Cancer. 2001 Jul 1;93(1):62-6. doi: 10.1002/ijc.1306.


Multidrug resistance (MDR) is associated with the expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), an ATP-dependent transporter which expels anti-cancer drugs from cells. In the present study, MDR1 P-gp was immunodetected by Western blot analysis in 60 human brain tumors, including meningiomas, schwannomas, low-grade gliomas (astrocytomas, pilocytic astrocytomas) and high-grade gliomas (anaplastic astrocytomas, glioblastomas and anaplastic oligodendrogliomas). Most samples from primary tumors expressed P-gp at the same levels as normal brain tissue except for schwannomas, in which levels were reduced by 65%, and meningiomas, in which levels were more than 10-fold higher in 7 of 10 samples. P-gp levels were 70% and 95% lower in brain metastases from melanomas and lung adenocarcinomas, respectively, than in normal brain tissue. These results indicate that the majority of primary brain tumors express MDR1 P-gp and that its high expression levels in meningiomas may be a marker for this type of brain tumor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / analysis*
  • Astrocytoma / chemistry
  • Brain Chemistry*
  • Brain Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Glioblastoma / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Meningioma / genetics
  • Neurilemmoma / genetics
  • Oligodendroglioma / chemistry
  • Reference Values


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1