Journal Article

Analysis of ABCG2 expression and side population identifies intrinsic drug efflux in the HCC cell line MHCC-97L and its modulation by Akt signaling

Chen Hu, Hong Li, Jinjun Li, Zheng Zhu, Shengyong Yin, Xiangfang Hao, Ming Yao, Shusen Zheng and Jianren Gu

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 29, issue 12, pages 2289-2297
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgn223
Analysis of ABCG2 expression and side population identifies intrinsic drug efflux in the HCC cell line MHCC-97L and its modulation by Akt signaling

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Active drug efflux by the adenosine triphosphate-binding cassette (ABC) transporter ABCG2 is one of the common mechanisms causing multiple drug resistance in various human cancers. In the intrinsic drug resistance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the role of ABCG2 is closely associated with ‘side population (SP)’, a minor subset of cancer stem-like cells with unique capacity to extrude lipophilic dye Hoechst 33342 and many chemotherapeutic agents. In this study, we showed that ABCG2 was intrinsically expressed in a subgroup of HCC tissues and its expression pattern significantly influenced the levels of drug efflux from HCC cell lines. In MHCC-97L HCC cell line with intrinsic ABCG2 expression, we confirmed the importance of SP cells to the drug efflux-related chemotherapy resistance and found that the SP analysis provided an efficient method to evaluate the functional activity of ABCG2 transporter. In this cell line, we discovered that the SP proportion was modulated by the treatments of Akt signaling inhibitors and serum supplement, which led to the finding that Akt signaling was able to regulate the SP cells’ efflux activity via altering the subcellular localization of ABCG2 transporter. We further demonstrated that the Akt signaling inhibition attenuated the doxorubicin efflux from MHCC-97L cells and increased the drug efficacy. Our results indicate the protective role of intrinsic ABCG2 expression in HCC cells and suggest that suppressing Akt signaling could help overcome the drug efflux by ABCG2 transporter.

Journal Article.  6335 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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