Objective: To assess the involvement of the multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1) and the glutathione pathway in the multidrug resistant (MDR) phenotype of prostate cancer in vitro.
Materials and methods: Chemoselection of human prostate cancer cell lines PC3 and DU145 with etoposide resulted in the resistant cell lines PC3-R and DU-R. Resistance against etoposide, doxorubicin and vincristine, and its reversal with leukotriene D4 antagonists MK-571 and zafirlukast, and buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), was assessed using tetrazolium-dye viability assays. Western blot analysis of MRP1 expression and glutathione content were measured, and MRP1 function assessed in fluorescence assays.
Results: MRP1 was increased in the MDR models; the glutathione content was significantly higher in PC3-R but there was no increase in glutathione in DU-R. Adding non-toxic doses of MK-571, zafirlukast or BSO significantly increased the sensitivity of the MDR models to cytotoxic drugs. MRP1 function was inhibited with MK-571 in the MDR models.
Conclusion: MRP1 and glutathione mediate MDR in newly developed prostate cancer models.