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Influence of Amphiphilic Block Copolymer Induced Changes in Membrane Ion Conductance on the Reversal of Multidrug Resistance

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journal contribution
posted on 24.07.2008, 00:00 by Klaus Sommer, Sergej Kaiser, Oxana O. Krylova, Jörg Kressler, Peter Pohl, Karsten Busse
Block copolymers are able to reverse multidrug resistance (MDR) of tumor cells by a yet unknown mechanism. The drug efflux system’s direct and indirect inhibition mediated by polymer P-glycoprotein (Pgp) interactions or adenosine triphosphate (ATP) depletion, respectively, may be involved in MDR reversal as well as damage to the membrane barrier caused by polymer insertion into the membrane. To test the latter hypothesis, cellular drug accumulation was monitored in the presence of both overexpressed fluorescently labeled Pgp and different block copolymers. Therefore, a new triblock copolymer (poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(hexafluoropropylene oxide)-block-poly(ethylene oxide)) was designed and synthesized by combined polymerization and polymer analogous reaction. Its administration induced drug uptake, whereas control cells with high Pgp expression levels showed no drug accumulation. Drug uptake was even more pronounced in the presence of another triblock copolymer: (poly(perfluorohexylethyl methacrylate)-block-poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(perfluorohexylethyl methacrylate). The latter polymer’s lack of ionophoric activity suggests that ion transport facilitation by polymers is not a determinative factor for MDR reversal.