Phenylsulfonylfuroxans as Modulators of Multidrug-Resistance-Associated Protein-1 and P-Glycoprotein

A series of furoxan derivatives were studied for their ability to interact with P-gp and MRP1 transporters in MDCK cells overexpressing these proteins. 3-Phenylsulfonyl substituted furoxans emerged as the most interesting compounds. All of them were capable of inhibiting P-gp, and a few also were capable of inhibiting MRP1. Substituents at the 4-position of 3-phenylsulfonylfuroxan scaffold were able to modulate the selectivity and the intensity of inhibition. In some cases, they reverted MRP1 inhibitor activity, namely, they were capable of potentiating MRP1 dependent efflux. When compounds 16 and 17 were coadministered with doxorubicin, they restored a high degree of the activity of the antibiotic. Preliminary immunoblotting studies carried out on these two compounds indicate that they are capable of nitrating P-gp, which in this form is likely unable to efflux the antibiotic.