Clinical evidence shows that following initial response to treatment, drug-resistant cancer cells frequently evolve and, eventually, most tumors become resistant to all available therapies. We compiled a focused library consisting of >500 commercially available or newly synthetized 8-hydroxyquinoline (8OHQ) derivatives whose toxicity is paradoxically increased rather than decreased by the activity of P-glycoprotein (Pgp), a transporter conferring multidrug resistance (MDR). Here, we deciphered the mechanism of action of NSC297366 that shows exceptionally strong Pgp-potentiated toxicity. Treatment of cells with NSC297366 resulted in changes associated with the activity of potent anticancer iron chelators. Strikingly, iron depletion was more pronounced inMDRcells due to the Pgp-mediated efflux of NSC297366-iron complexes. Our results indicate that iron homeostasis can be targeted by MDR-selective compounds for the selective elimination of multidrug resistant cancer cells, setting the stage for a therapeutic approach to fight transporter-mediated drug resistance. Significance: Modulation of the MDR phenotype has the potential to increase the efficacy of anticancer therapies. These findings show that the MDR transporter is a "double-edged sword" that can be turned against resistant cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research