Involvement of phospholipase C in heat-shock-induced phosphorylation of P-glycoprotein in multidrug resistant human breast cancer cells

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 May 5;210(1):21-30. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1995.1622.


The phosphorylation of P-glycoprotein has been appreciated for many years, yet little is known about the factors that initiate this post-translational modification. To determine whether the activation of P-glycoprotein phosphorylation could occur in response to cellular stress and to investigate the possible signal pathways involved, we studied the effect of heat shock on the phosphorylation of P-glycoprotein in sensitive and resistant MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Treatment of multidrug resistant MCF-7/AdrR cells with heat shock increased the phosphorylation of P-glycoprotein. The response was not seen in the sensitive MCF-7 line, which does not express this drug transporter. Phosphorylation of P-glycoprotein induced by heat shock was not dependent on synthesis of new proteins, since phosphorylation was not inhibited by cycloheximide and the content of P-glycoprotein, as measured by immunoblotting, did not change after heat shock. The activation of P-glycoprotein phosphorylation by heat shock may be initiated through activation of phospholipase C, since heat shock stimulated the activity of this enzyme, as evidenced by increased formation of inositol trisphosphate and diacylglycerol and by phosphorylation of phospholipase C-gamma. U-73122, an inhibitor of phospholipase C and staurosporine, an inhibitor of protein kinase C, both decreased the heat-shock-induced phosphorylation of P-glycoprotein. These results suggest that heat shock induces phosphorylation of P-glycoprotein through the activation of the phospholipase C/protein kinase C pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism*
  • Alkaloids / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Diglycerides / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple*
  • Estrenes / pharmacology
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase C / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Pyrrolidinones / pharmacology
  • Staurosporine
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Type C Phospholipases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Type C Phospholipases / metabolism*


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Alkaloids
  • Diglycerides
  • Estrenes
  • Pyrrolidinones
  • 1-(6-((3-methoxyestra-1,3,5(10)-trien-17-yl)amino)hexyl)-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione
  • Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate
  • Cycloheximide
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Type C Phospholipases
  • Staurosporine