Modulation of paclitaxel transport by flavonoid derivatives in human breast cancer cells. Is there a correlation between binding affinity to NBD of P-gp and modulation of transport?

Bioorg Med Chem. 2006 Jul 1;14(13):4519-25. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2006.02.025. Epub 2006 Mar 3.


We have investigated the effect of 13 flavonoid derivatives on [(14)C]paclitaxel transport in two human breast cancer cell lines, the adriamycin-resistant NCI/ADR-RES and sensitive MDA-MB-435. For this study, we selected representatives of aurones, chalcones, flavones, flavonols, chromones, and isoflavones with known binding affinity toward nucleotide-binding domain (NBD2) of P-glycoprotein and for which no reported work is available regarding paclitaxel transport. Aurones CB-284, CB-285, CB-287, and ML-50 most effectively inhibited P-gp related transport in the resistant line in comparison with chalcones, flavones, flavonols, chromones, and isoflavone derivatives and accordingly increased the accumulation of [(14)C]paclitaxel and decreased its efflux. Those agents efficiently modulated paclitaxel transport in P-gp highly expressing resistant human breast cancer cells and they could increase the efficiency of chemotherapy in paclitaxel-resistant tumors. In contrast, the sensitive cell line responded reversely in that CB-284, CB-285, CB-287, and ML-50 significantly inhibited accumulation of [(14)C]paclitaxel and especially CB-287, which significantly stimulated its efflux. Some, but not all, of the data correlated with the binding of flavonoid derivatives to P-gp, and indicated that even in the P-gp highly expressing NCI/ADR-RES cells, the binding was not the only factor influencing the transport of [(14)C]paclitaxel. Opposite effects of flavonoid derivatives on the P-gp highly expressing and MDA-MB-435 non-expressing cell lines indicate that paclitaxel is not only transported by P-gp and let us assume that Mrp2 or ABCC5 seem to be good transport-candidates in these cells. The inhibition of paclitaxel accumulation and stimulation of its efflux are potentially unfavorable for drug therapy and since they could be due to modulation of drug transporters other than P-gp, their expression in tumors is of great significance for efficient chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / drug effects*
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport / drug effects
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Flavonoids / chemistry*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Paclitaxel / metabolism*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / drug effects
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Flavonoids
  • Paclitaxel