P-glycoprotein (PGP), and not lung resistance-related protein (LRP), is a negative prognostic factor in secondary leukemias

Daniela Damiani, Mariagrazia Michieli, Anna Ermacora, Anna Candoni, Donatella Raspadori, Antonella Geromin, Raffaella Stocchi, Stefania Grimaz, Paola Masolini, Angela Michelutti, Rik J. Scheper, Michele Baccarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objective. In cell lines, there is an ongoing debate about the role of the lung resistance-related protein (LRP) whereas the role played by P. glycoprotein (PGP) in determining a multidrug resistance is well known. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency and the role of a PGP and an LRP overexpression in affecting the intracellular daunorubicin accumulation (IDA) and in predicting the therapy outcome on a subset of overt secondary acute non lymphocytic leukemias (ANLL). An adjunctive point was to evaluate the efficacy of the reversal agent SDZ PSC 833 (PSC) in counteracting impaired IDA. Design and Methods. By flow cytometry, PGP and LRP expression and the IDA were evaluated on 54 overt secondary ANLL PGP and LRP overexpressions were respectively defined by an MRK-16 mean fluorescence index (MFI) ≤ 6 (PGP+) and by an LRP-56 MFI ≤ 5 l.e. by MRK-16 and LRP-56 MFIs higher than the one observed in normal leukocytes. The blasts' IDA was studied after a two-hour incubation in 1000 ng/mL daunorubicin in the presence or in the absence of the MDR reversal agent SDZ PSC 833 (PSC) 1.6 μmol. Results. A PGP overexpression was detected in 40/54 (74%) cases while an LRP overexpression was observed on 33/54 (61%) cases. No differences were found in terms of PGP and LRP expressions between ANLL developing after chemo/radiotherapy (therapy-related ANLL) or evolving from a myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS-related ANLL). Compared to the PGP-, the PGP+ cases showed a significantly lower mean IDA (DNR NMFI 196±46 vs. 267±53, p <0.001). The co-incubation of DNR with the PSC significantly increased only the mean IDA of the PGP+ cases, that grew from a DNR NMFI of 196±46 to a DNR NMFI of 284±67 (p <0.0001). With respect to normal leukocytes, even the PGP cases had an impaired IDA suggesting that other mechanisms, including an LRP overexpression, could affect the IDA. A strongly negative correlation was observed between PGP overexpression and therapy outcome, in fact, 8/10 (80%) PGP- but only 2/27 (7%) PGP+ patients obtained complete remission (p = 0.0002). Moreover, 7/83 (21%) cases showing an impaired IDA (NMFI <280) but 4/4 (100%) with NMFI > 280 had complete remission (p=0.006). No correlation was found between therapy response and LRP or CD34 expression. Interpretation and Conclusions. This data suggests that an important role in determining therapy outcome is played by PGP in secondary leukemias. Even if the LRP is frequently overexpressed in secondary leukemias and is likely to contribute to the reduction of the intracellular drug accumulation, the role played by LRP in determining the therapy-outcome has still to be cleared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-297
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1998


  • Chemotherapy
  • Lung resistance-related protein
  • P-glycoprotein
  • Prognosis
  • Secondary leukemias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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