Molecular alterations of cells resistant to platinum drugs: Role of PKCα

Sabina C. Righetti, Paola Perego, Nives Carenini, Elisabetta Corna, Laura Dal Bo, Sabrina Cedrola, Caterina A M La Porta, Franco Zunino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Development of resistance to platinum compounds may involve not only overexpression of defence mechanisms but also alterations in cellular response to the drug-induced genotoxic stress. To investigate the cellular bases of response to platinum compounds, we examined the profile of gene expression of ovarian carcinoma cells exhibiting sensitivity (A2780) or resistance (A2780/BBR3464) to platinum compounds. Using display PCR, we found that acquisition of resistance to the multinuclear platinum complex BBR3464 was associated with modulation of several transcripts, including up-regulation of the major substrate of protein kinase C (PKC), the myristoylated alanine-rich C kinase substrate (MARCKS). This feature was associated with PKCα down-regulation. To explore the role of PKCα in cellular sensitivity to platinum compounds, resistant cells were transfected with a PKCα- containing vector. PKCα-overexpressing resistant cells exhibited a decrease in sensitivity to cisplatin, whereas no significant change in sensitivity to BBR3464 was observed. A number of approaches designed to modulate the function or expression of PKCα support that the isoenzyme may play a role in determining resistance only to cisplatin but not to BBR3464, which is known to activate a different pathway of cell response. In conclusion, in spite of PKCα down-regulation in our model, its regulatory function was not apparently implicated in the development of resistance to platinum compounds and the present results do not support a general role of PKCα as a determinant of the resistance status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-100
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • Cisplatin
  • Platinum drug
  • Protein kinase C
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics


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