Intercellular transfer of proteins is a mode of communication between cells that is crucial for certain physiological processes. Chemotherapy is the treatment of choice for ∼50% of all cancers. However, multidrug resistance mediated by drug-efflux pumps such as P-glycoprotein (Pgp) minimizes the effectiveness of such therapy in a large number of patients. A new study demonstrates the functional intercellular transfer of Pgp. Non-genetic transfer of the multidrug resistance phenotype raises fascinating questions about the mechanism and regulation of cell-surface membrane-protein-mediated spread of traits.
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