Database of genes associated with resistance to cancer drugs

18 May 2005

Scientists at the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) have created a database of genes associated with multi-drug resistance in cancer cells. A paper in the journal Cancer Cell details the findings of their research on the expression of ABC transporter genes in 60 different cancer cell lines (the NCI-60 collection, which includes leukaemia, melanoma, ovarian, breast, prostate, lung, renal, and colon cancer cells). ABC (ATP binding cassette) transporters are a family of proteins that regulate transport of substances, including drugs, across cell membranes. There are 48 known human ABC transporters, including a number of multi-drug resistance (MDR) pumps that actively export drugs from cells, making them important factors in drug resistance. The researchers used a phamacogenomic approach, correlating expression of the ABC transporter genes assayed using the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with patterns of activity of 1,429 candidate anticancer drugs previously tested in the cell lines [Szak

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