Interdependence of gemcitabine treatment, transporter expression, and resistance in human pancreatic carcinoma cells

Neoplasia. 2010 Sep;12(9):740-7. doi: 10.1593/neo.10576.

Abstract

Gemcitabine is widely used as first-line chemotherapeutic drug in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Our previous experimental chemotherapy studies have shown that treatment of human pancreatic carcinoma cells with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) alters the cellular transporter expression profile and that modulation of the expression of multidrug resistance protein 5 (MRP5; ABCC5) influences the chemoresistance of these tumor cells. Here, we studied the influence of acute and chronic gemcitabine treatment on the expression of relevant uptake and export transporters in pancreatic carcinoma cells by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), quantitative RT-PCR, and immunoblot analyses. The specific role of MRP5 in cellular gemcitabine sensitivity was studied by cytotoxicity assays using MRP5-overexpressing and MRP5-silenced cells. Exposure to gemcitabine (12 nM for 3 days) did not alter the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of MRP1, MRP3, MRP5, and equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (ENT1), whereas high dosages of the drug (20 microM for 1 hour) elicited up-regulation of these transporters in most cell lines studied. In cells with acquired gemcitabine resistance (up to 160 nM gemcitabine), the mRNA or protein expression of the gemcitabine transporters MRP5 and ENT1 was upregulated in several cell lines. Combined treatment with 5-FU and gemcitabine caused a 5- to 40-fold increase in MRP5 and ENT1 expressions. Cytotoxicity assays using either MRP5-overexpressing (HEK and PANC-1) or MRP5-silenced (PANC1/shMRP5) cells indicated that MRP5 contributes to gemcitabine resistance. Thus, our novel data not only on drug-induced alterations of transporter expression relevant for gemcitabine uptake and export but also on the link between gemcitabine sensitivity and MRP5 expression may lead to improved strategies of future chemotherapy regimens using gemcitabine in pancreatic carcinoma patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cell Survival / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Deoxycytidine / adverse effects
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxycytidine / pharmacology
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects
  • Up-Regulation / genetics

Substances

  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Deoxycytidine
  • gemcitabine