Transcriptional regulation of MDR genes

Cytotechnology. 1998 Sep;27(1-3):257-69. doi: 10.1023/A:1008032716628.


The emergence of resistance in a tumor population is most often associated with a disregulation of gene expression, usually at the level of transcription. A major goal in the field of cancer chemotherapy is to define the mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation of drug resistance genes in an effort to identify targets for therapeutic intervention. Recently, considerable progress has been made in identifying the molecular mechanisms involved in the transcriptional regulation of the P-glycoprotein (Pgp) gene. When overexpressed in tumor cells, Pgp confers resistance to a variety of chemotherapeutic agents; this resistance has been termed MDR (multidrug resistance). Moreover, Pgp is a normal component of a variety of highly differentiated cell types and, as such, is regulated by both internal and external environmental stimuli. In this review, we will discuss the current knowledge regarding the DNA elements and protein factors involved in both constitutive and inducible regulation of Pgp transcription in normal and tumor cells.