Inhibiting the function of ABCB1 and ABCG2 by the EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor AG1478

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The tyrphostin 4-(3-chloroanilino)-6,7-dimethoxyquinazoline (AG1478) is a potent and specific EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI); its promising pre-clinical results have led to clinical trials. Overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters such as ABCB1, ABCC1 and ABCG2 is one of the main causes of multidrug resistance (MDR) and usually results in the failure of cancer chemotherapy. However, the interaction of AG1478 with these ABC transporters is still unclear. In the present study, we have investigated this interaction and found that AG1478 has differential effects on these transporters. In ABCB1-overexpressing cells, non-toxic doses of AG1478 were found to partially inhibit resistance to ABCB1 substrate anticancer drugs as well as increase intracellular accumulation of [3H]-paclitaxel. Similarly, in ABCG2-overexpressing cells, AG1478 significantly reversed resistance to ABCG2 substrate anticancer drugs and increased intracellular accumulation of [3H]-mitoxantrone as well as fluorescent compound BODIPY-prazosin. AG1478 also profoundly inhibited the transport of [3H]-E217βG and [3H]-methotrexate by ABCG2. We also found that AG1478 slightly stimulated ABCB1 ATPase activity and significantly stimulated ABCG2 ATPase activity. Interestingly, AG1478 did not inhibit the photolabeling of ABCB1 or ABCG2 with [125I]-iodoarylazidoprazosin. Additionally, AG1478 did not alter the sensitivity of parental, ABCB1- or ABCG2-overexpressing cells to non-ABCB1 and non-ABCG2 substrate drug and had no effect on the function of ABCC1. Overall, we conclude that AG1478 is able to inhibit the function of ABCB1 and ABCG2, with a more pronounced effect on ABCG2. Our findings provide valuable contributions to the development of safer and more effective EGFR TKIs for use as anticancer agents in the clinic.

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