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Verotoxin-1 Treatment or Manipulation of its Receptor Globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) for Reversal of Multidrug Resistance to Cancer Chemotherapy

Author(s): Parviz Behnam-Motlagh | Andreas Tyler | Kjell Grankvist | Anders Johansson

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 10;
Start page: 2467;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: apoptosis | cancer | Gb3 | verotoxin-1 | multi-drug resistance | MDR1 | P-gp

A major problem with anti-cancer drug treatment is the development of acquired multidrug resistance (MDR) of the tumor cells. Verotoxin-1 (VT-1) exerts its cytotoxicity by targeting the globotriaosylceramide membrane receptor (Gb3), a glycolipid associated with multidrug resistance. Gb3 is overexpressed in many human tumors and tumor cell lines with inherent or acquired MDR. Gb3 is co-expressed and interplays with the membrane efflux transporter P-gp encoded by the MDR1 gene. P-gp could act as a lipid flippase and stimulate Gb3 induction when tumor cells are exposed to cancer chemotherapy. Recent work has shown that apoptosis and inherent or acquired multidrug resistance in Gb3-expressing tumors could be affected by VT-1 holotoxin, a sub-toxic concentration of the holotoxin concomitant with chemotherapy or its Gb3-binding B-subunit coupled to cytotoxic or immunomodulatory drug, as well as chemical manipulation of Gb3 expression. The interplay between Gb3 and P-gp thus gives a possible physiological approach to augment the chemotherapeutic effect in multidrug resistant tumors.
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