Multidrug resistance (MDR) is a major problem in the chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer. Overexpression of the multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (MRP1), is associated with MDR in certain tumors. A number of MRP1-specific MAbs, which facilitate both clinical and experimental investigations of this protein, are available. To add to this panel of existing antibodies, we have now generated an additional MRP1-specific monoclonal antibody (MAb), P2A8(6), which detects a unique heat stable epitope on the MRP1 molecule. Female Wistar rats were immunized via footpad injections with a combination of two short synthetic peptides corresponding to amino acids 235-246 (peptide A) and 246-260 (peptide B) of the MRP1 protein. Immune reactive B cells were then isolated from the popliteal lymph nodes for fusion with SP2/O-Ag14 myeloma cells. Resultant hybridoma supernatants were screened for MRP1-specific antibody production. Antibody P2A8(6) was characterized by Western blotting and immunocytochemistry on paired multidrug resistant (MRP1 overexpressing) and sensitive parental cell lines. The antibody detects a protein of 190 kDa in MRP1-expressing cell lines but not in MRP2- or MRP3-transfected cell lines. P2A8(6) stains drug-selected and MRP1-transfected cell lines homogeneously by immunocytochemistry and recognizes MRP1 by immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed paraffin wax-embedded tissue sections. Peptide inhibition studies confirm that P2A8(6) reacts with peptide B (amino acids 246-260), therefore recognizing a different epitope from that of all currently available MRP1 MAbs. This new MAb, chosen for its specificity to the MRP1 protein, may be a useful addition to the currently available range of MRP1-specific MAbs.
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