Influence of Etoposide on anti-apoptotic and multidrug resistance-associated protein genes in CD133 positive U251 glioblastoma stem-like cells

Brain Res. 2010 Jun 8:1336:103-11. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.04.005. Epub 2010 Apr 11.


It has been hypothesized that cancer stem cell is responsible for the refractoriness of glioblastoma therapy. This study is to observe the influence of Etoposide on anti-apoptotic and multidrug resistance-associated protein genes in glioblastoma stem-like cells. U251 glioblastoma cells were cultured and CD133 positive cancer stem-like cells were isolated and identified. Cell counting kit-8 assay, cell morphology and flow cytometry were employed for assaying cell survival condition. Real-time quantitative PCR was chosen for detecting mRNA expression of livin, livinalpha, livinbeta, survivin, MRP1 and MRP3. As results, after Etoposide intervention, the U251 stem-like cells showed more resistant property, more intact morphology and lower apoptotic rate than that in U251 cells (p<0.05). It could be found that the expression of livinbeta in U251 stem-like cells was significantly higher (p<0.05). After Etoposide intervention, only livinalpha was suppressed markedly (p<0.05), while livin expression was not notably decreased with livinbeta increased on the contrary (p<0.05). MRP1 and MRP3 in U251 stem-like cells were significantly higher than that in cancer cells, and after chemotherapy, the expression of MRP1 increased notably (p<0.05). But the expression of survivin and MRP3 did not show these features. In conclusion, after Etoposide intervention glioblastoma stem-like cells showed a stronger resistance to apoptosis and death, and the anti-apoptotic gene livinbeta was more related with the high survival rate and MRP1 appeared to be more related with transporting chemotherapeutics out of glioblastoma stem-like cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AC133 Antigen
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Separation
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Etoposide / pharmacology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Genes, MDR / drug effects*
  • Glioblastoma / genetics*
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / genetics
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins / metabolism
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / drug effects
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • AC133 Antigen
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BIRC7 protein, human
  • Glycoproteins
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Multidrug Resistance-Associated Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • PROM1 protein, human
  • Peptides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Etoposide
  • multidrug resistance-associated protein 1