Background: Multidrug resistance (MDR) proteins have been associated with the lack of chemotherapy response. Expression of these proteins has been described in the prostate, but there is no information about their role in the chemotherapy response of prostate cancer (PC). We studied the gene and protein expression of MDR proteins in primary cell cultures from PC tumors and PC cell lines, their relationship with chemotherapy and their effects on cell survival.
Methods: Primary cell cultures from PC were obtained from samples provided by our Institutional Hospital. Cell lines LNCaP, PC3, and DU145 were also examined. Cells were treated during 72 hr with several chemotherapeutic drugs. Protein and mRNA expressions of P-glycoprotein (P-Gp), MRP1 and LRP, before and after drug treatment, were evaluated by RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. The effect on cell survival was evaluated by proliferation assays (MTT), and cell cycle and apoptosis by flow cytometry.
Results: Primary PC cultures exhibited higher MDR protein expression and lower drug sensitivity than cell lines, in which P-Gp was not detected. Docetaxel and mitoxantrone displayed the highest apoptotic effect. Exposure to chemotherapeutic drugs increased apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and MDR expression. Long-term treatment with doxorubicin diminished apoptosis elicited by all drugs examined in this study, suggesting a cross-resistance phenomenon.
Conclusions: Low chemotherapy response observed in PC primary cultures could be explained, in part, by the high levels of MDR proteins (intrinsic MDR phenotype), and also, by their over-expression induced after long-term exposure to drugs (acquired MDR phenotype), which increase treatment resistance. Prostate 69: 1448-1459, 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.