Multidrug resistance is a phenomenon whereby tumors become resistant to structurally unrelated anticancer drugs. P-glycoprotein belongs to the large ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter superfamily of membrane transport proteins. P-glycoprotein mediates resistance to various classes of anticancer drugs including vinblastine, daunorubicin, and paclitaxel, by actively extruding the drugs from the cells. The quest for inhibitors of anticancer drug efflux transporters has uncovered natural compounds, including (-)-epigallocatechin gallate, curcumin, capsaicin, and guggulsterone, as promising candidates. In this review, studies on the effects of natural compounds on P-glycoprotein and anticancer drug efflux transporters are summarized.
Keywords: ABC transporter; P-glycoprotein; anticancer drug; cancer chemoprevention; multidrug resistance; phytochemical.