The FLT3 inhibitor midostaurin selectively resensitizes ABCB1-overexpressing multidrug-resistant cancer cells to conventional chemotherapeutic agents.


Graduate Institute of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Tao-Yuan, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]


The occurrence of multidrug resistance (MDR) associated with the overexpression of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) protein ABCB1 in cancer cells remains a significant obstacle to successful cancer chemotherapy. Therefore, discovering modulators that are capable of inhibiting the drug efflux function or expression of ABCB1 and re-sensitizing multidrug-resistant cancer cells to anticancer agents is of great clinical importance. Regrettably, due to potential adverse events associated with drug-drug interactions and toxicity in patients, researchers have struggled to develop a synthetic inhibitor of ABCB1 that is clinically applicable to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Alternatively, through drug repositioning of approved drugs, we discovered that the FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3) inhibitor midostaurin blocks the drug transport function of ABCB1 and re-sensitizes ABCB1-overexpressing multidrug-resistant cancer cells to conventional chemotherapeutic drugs. Our findings were further supported by results demonstrating that midostaurin potentiates drug-induced apoptosis in ABCB1-overexpressing cancer cells and inhibits the ATPase activity of ABCB1. Considering that midostaurin is a clinically approved anticancer agent, our findings revealed an additional action of midostaurin and that patients with multidrug-resistant tumors may benefit from a combination therapy of midostaurin with standard chemotherapy, which should be further investigated.


Chemoresistance,Combination chemotherapy with PKC412,Drug repositioning,Modulator,P-glycoprotein,