BCRP gene expression is associated with a poor response to remission induction therapy in childhood acute myeloid leukemia

Leukemia. 2002 Aug;16(8):1443-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.leu.2402541.


Breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP), also known as mitoxantrone resistance protein (MRX) or placenta ABC protein (ABC-P), is the second member of the ABCG subfamily of ABC transport proteins (gene symbol ABCG2). Transfection and enforced expression of BCRP in drug-sensitive cells confers resistance to mitoxantrone, doxorubicin, daunorubicin and topotecan. In this study the expression of BCRP gene was measured using TaqMan real-time PCR in 59 children with newly diagnosed AML. Nine patients were also analyzed in relapse. The median of BCRP gene expression was more than 10 times higher in patients who did not achieve remission after the first phase of chemotherapy (n = 24) as compared to patients who did achieve remission at this stage (n = 21; P = 0.012). In first relapse the expression of the BCRP gene was higher than at diagnosis (P = 0.038). Although high levels of BCRP gene expression were more frequent in subtypes of AML with a favorable prognosis, we found that within both risk groups (high and low risk), patients who expressed high levels of BCRP had a worse prognosis (P = 0.023). Our results strongly suggest that the expression of the BCRP gene reduces the response to chemotherapy in AML and that BCRP expression is higher at the time of relapse.

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / biosynthesis
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / physiology*
  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Computer Systems
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Leukemic
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / mortality
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / physiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction


  • ABCG2 protein, human
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Neoplasm Proteins