Induction of a Multifactorial Resistance Phenotype by High Paclitaxel Selective Pressure in a Human Ovarian Carcinoma Cell Line

S. Violini, S. D'Ascenzo, M. Bagnoli, D. Millimaggi, S. Miotti, S. Canevari, A. Pavan, Vincenza Dolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paclitaxel (PTX) is a potent anti-neoplastic agent that is highly effective in treating ovarian cancer. Nevertheless, the emergence of PTX resistance has limited the control of this disease. To gain insight into the molecular alterations accompanying drug resistance in ovarian cancer, we generated a new stable PTX-resistant ovarian carcinoma cell line. CABA 1 cells, which display an intrinsic PTX resistance (IC50=800 ng/ml), were subjected to continuous exposure to PTX. From the residual surviving cells, the highly PTX-resistant line CABA-PTX (IC50= 256000 ng/ml) was generated and stably maintained in vitro. Analysis of β-tubulin expression indicated that only the HM40 and Hβ9 isotypes were expressed in both parental and resistant cells. No specific point mutations in the HM40 were detected in either cell line, but expression levels of this isotype were significantly reduced (40%) in CABA-PTX cells. Hβ9 levels were unchanged. In those cells, PTX resistance was associated with cross-resistance to vinblastine but not to methotrexate or 5-fluorouracil. Verapamil treatment did not reverse the intrinsic drug resistance of parental cells, but partially modulated the sensitivity of CABA-PTX cells to PTX and induced total sensitivity to vinblastine. No changes in the cell surface expression of the drug efflux pumps MRP1, MRP2 and P-glycoprotein were observed. PTX influx, monitored using a fluorescent drug derivative, was significantly reduced and delayed in CABA-PTX cells as compared to the parental cells. Together, these findings suggest that more than one mechanism is involved in PTX resistance, making CABA-PTX cell line a potentially valuable in vitro tool to study multifactorial acquired drug resistance in ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • Multidrug resistance
  • Multifactorial resistance
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Paclitaxel-resistance
  • Tubulin isotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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