Amplification and expression of genes associated with multidrug resistance in mammalian cells

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Science  09 May 1986:
Vol. 232, Issue 4751, pp. 751-755
DOI: 10.1126/science.2421411


In multidrug resistance, which is observed clinically and in tissue culture, cells that are challenged with certain cytotoxic drugs develop resistance not only to the selective agent but also to other, seemingly unrelated, agents. The multidrug-resistant phenotype is associated with DNA sequence amplification and with the overproduction of a number of cytosolic and membrane glycoproteins. The differential amplification and altered expression of at least two related genes, termed multidrug-resistant associated genes has been shown in multidrug-resistant Chinese hamster cells. In multidrug-resistant mouse and human cells, genes homologous to those in Chinese hamster cells are also amplified. The level of expression of these genes varied and did not correlate with their copy number. Furthermore, in Chinese hamster cells, the development of resistance to a single drug and multidrug resistance were closely related, but uncoupled, events. The overexpression of the multidrug-resistant genes was better correlated with the degree of resistance to the selective agent than it was with the extent of multidrug resistance.

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