Inhibition of Pgp-mediated R123 efflux from L5178 MDR1 cells by compound 2d as a function of R123 concentration.
P-Glycoprotein (Pgp) inhibition by three sets of four isomers of N,N-bis(cyclohexanol)amine aryl esters was assessed on rhodamine 123 (R123) efflux in human MDR1-gene transfected mouse T-lymphoma L5178 cells and on Sf9 ATPase activity. The most active compounds inhibited Pgp with IC50 values much lower than those of either cyclosporin A (CSA) or GF120918. As to R123 efflux inhibition, the role of the bond present in the second aryl moiety appeared important since the triple bond derivatives (3a–d) were the most powerful as compared to the double bond (2a–d) and the single bond (1a–d) counterparts. Concentration–inhibition curves of 2c and 3d exhibited a biphasic behaviour suggesting the existence of two binding sites in the recognition domain of Pgp. Persistence of inhibition by these compounds resulted to be intermediate between that caused by CSA and GF120918. R123 exhibited positive interaction with CSA, 1d, 1c, 2d, 2c and 3c, the concentration–inhibition curves being shifted leftward when R123 concentration was increased, while it exhibited negative interaction with 3d and no effect with GF120918. Sf9 ATPase activity was stimulated in an increasing order of potency by 2c, 3c, 2d, CSA, epirubicin and 3d. In a decreasing order of potency 3d, 2c, GF120918, CSA, 2d and 3c inhibited at sub-nanomolar concentrations epirubicin-stimulated ATPase activity. In conclusion, isomeric geometry and restriction of molecular flexibility of N,N-bis(cyclohexanol)amine aryl esters were crucial for their presentation to and inhibition of Pgp as transport substrates, R123 and epirubicin cooperating with them to this inhibition.