A conjugate of plastoquinone with decylrhodamine 19 (SkQR1) selectively accumulates in mitochondria of normal and tumor cells. SkQR1 protected the cellular pool of reduced glutathione under oxidative stress. Overexpression of P-glycoprotein (Pgp 170) multidrug resistance pump strongly suppresses accumulation of SkQR1. The inhibitors of Pgp 170 stimulate accumulation of SkQR1 in various cell lines indicating that SkQR1 is a substrate of Pgp 170. The protective effect of SkQR1 against oxidative stress is diminished in the cells overexpressing Pgp 170. It is suggested that mitochondria-targeted antioxidants could selectively protect normal (Pgp 170-negative) cells against the toxic effect of anti-cancer treatments related to oxidative stress.
2009. Published by Elsevier B.V.