Resistance to the chemosensitizer verapamil in a multi-drug-resistant (MDR) human multiple myeloma cell line

Int J Cancer. 1996 May 16;66(4):506-14. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0215(19960516)66:4<506::AID-IJC14>3.0.CO;2-5.


Inhibitors of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) or chemosensitizers, such as verapamil, are used to reverse multi-drug resistance (MDR) in cancer patients. Clinical studies in patients with myeloma have shown that some patients with P-gp-positive cancer cells respond to the chemosensitizing effect of verapamil. However, this response is short-lived and tumor cells ultimately become resistant to chemosensitizers. To study mechanisms of resistance to chemosensitizers, a human myeloma cell line, 8226/MDR10V, was selected from a P-gp-positive cell line, 8226/Dox40, in the continuous presence of doxorubicin and verapamil. MDR10V cells are consistently more resistant to MDR drugs than parent cells, Dox40. Chemosensitizers, including verapamil and cyclosporin A, were less effective in reversing resistance in MDR10V compared with Dox40 cells. Verapamil and cyclosporin A were only partially effective in blocking P-gp drug efflux in MDR10V compared to Dox40 cells. Despite higher resistance to cytotoxic agents, MDR10V cells express less P-gp in the plasma membrane than do its parent cells, Dox40. [3H]Azidopine photoaffinity labeling of P-gp and its binding competition with unlabeled verapamil showed similar affinity for P-gp between Dox40 and MDR10V cell lines. Non-P-gp-mediated mechanisms of drug resistance, including over-expression of MRP and alterations in topoisomerase II, were not different for MDR10V cells compared with Dox40 cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / genetics
  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1 / metabolism
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / metabolism
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / pharmacology*
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple*
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Verapamil / metabolism
  • Verapamil / pharmacology*


  • ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 1
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Verapamil
  • DNA Topoisomerases, Type II