Dynamic and intracellular trafficking of P-glycoprotein-EGFP fusion protein: Implications in multidrug resistance in cancer

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Journal Article
International Journal of Cancer, 2004, 109 (2), pp. 174 - 181
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In our present study, a P-glycoprotein-EGFP (P-gp-EGFP) fusion plasmid was constructed and functionally expressed in HeLa cells to investigate the intracellular localization and trafficking of P-glycoprotein (P-gp). Using immunocytochemistry and fluorescent confocal microscopy techniques, colocalization studies showed that after transfection, P-gp-EGFP was progressively transported from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi and finally to the plasma membrane within 12-48 hr. The degree of intracellular accumulation of daunorubicin was related to the particular localization of P-gp-EGFP. Significant daunorubicin accumulation occurred in transfected cells when P-gp-EGFP was localized predominantly within the ER, and accumulation remained high when P-gp-EGFP was mainly localized in the Golgi. However, there was little or no intracellular accumulation of daunorubicin when P-gp-EGFP was localized predominantly on the plasma membrane. Blocking the intracellular trafficking of P-gp-EGFP with brefeldin A (BFA) and monensin resulted in inhibition of traffic of P-gp-EGFP and retention of P-gp-EGFP intracellularly. Intracellular accumulation of daunorubicin also increased in the presence of BFA or monensin. Our study shows that P-gp-EGFP can be used to define the dynamics of P-gp traffic in a transient expression system, and demonstrates that localization of P-gp on the plasma membrane is associated with the highest level of resistance to daunorubicin accumulation in cells. Modulation of intracellular localization of P-gp with agents designed to selectively modify its traffic may provide a new strategy for overcoming multidrug resistance in cancer cells. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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