Taxanes are important drugs in the treatment of ovarian and other cancers, but their efficacy is limited by intrinsic and acquired drug resistance. Expression of the multidrug transporter P-glycoprotein, encoded by the MDR1 (ABCB1) gene, is one of the causes of clinical drug resistance to taxanes. To study the mechanisms of MDR1 activation related to taxanes, we established 11 multidrug-resistant variants from six ovarian cancer cell lines by continuous exposure to either paclitaxel or docetaxel. We profiled gene expression and gene copy number alterations in these cell lines using cDNA microarrays and identified a cluster of genes coactivated with MDR1 in 7q21.11-13. Regional activation was evident in nine resistant variants displaying a coexpression pattern of up to 22 genes over an 8-Mb area, including SRI, MGC4175, CLDN12, CROT, and CDK6. In six of these variants, regional activation was driven by gene copy number alterations, with low-level gains or high-level amplifications spanning the involved region. However, three variants displayed regional increases in gene expression even without concomitant gene copy number changes. These results suggest that regional gene activation may be a fundamental mechanism for acquired drug resistance, with or without changes in gene dosage. In addition to numerical and structural chromosomal changes driven by genome instability in cancer cells, other mechanisms might be involved in MDR1 regional activation, such as chromatin remodeling and DNA or histone modifications of the 7q21 region.