Expression of drug resistance proteins Pgp, MRP1, MRP3, MRP5 AND GST-π in human glioma

C. Calatozzolo, M. Gelati, E. Ciusani, F. L. Sciacca, B. Pollo, L. Cajola, C. Marras, A. Silvani, L. Vitellaro-Zuccarello, D. Croci, A. Boiardi, A. Salmaggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chemotherapy in glioma is poorly effective: the blood-brain barrier and intrinsic and/or acquired drug resistance of tumor cells could partly explain this lack of major effect. We investigated expression of P-glycoprotein (Pgp), multidrug resistance protein (MRP) 1, MRP3, MRP5 and glutathione-S-transferase π (GST-π) in malignant glioma patients. Cytofluorimetric analysis of 48 glioma specimens and 21 primary cultures showed high levels of MRP1, moderate levels of MRP5 and low levels of Pgp, GST-π and MRP3. Immunohistochemistry (25 glioma specimens) showed expression of GST-π (66.7% of cases), MRP1 (51.3%), MRP5 (45.8%), Pgp (34.8%) and MRP3 (29.9%) in tumor cells. Moreover, analysis of tumor samples by real time quantitative PCR showed mRNA expression of all investigated genes. Tumor vasculature, analyzed in glioma specimens and in tumor derived endothelial cells, showed expression of all investigated proteins. Non-tumor brain samples (from a patient with arteriovenous malformation and from one with epilepsy), normal human astrocytes and cultured endothelial cells were also analyzed: astrocytes and endothelial cells expressed the highest levels of the investigated proteins, mainly MRP1 and MRP5. No significant differences in proteins expression were detected between primary or recurrent gliomas, suggesting that glioma chemoresistance is mostly intrinsic. Therefore, we detected, for the first time, the presence of MRP3 and MRP5 on glioma specimens - both in tumor and endothelial cells - and we delineated an expression profile of chemoresistance proteins in glioma. The possible association of inhibitors of drug efflux pumps with chemotherapy could be investigated to improve drugs delivery into the tumor and their cytotoxic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005


  • Astrocytes
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Glioma
  • GST-π
  • MRP1
  • MRP3
  • MRP5
  • Multidrugresistance
  • P-glycoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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