The main characteristic of tumor cell resistance is multidrug resistance (MDR). MDR is the principle cause of the decline in clinical efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs. There are several mechanisms that could cause MDR. Among these, one of the most important mechanisms underlying MDR is the overexpression of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) super-family of transporters, which effectively pump out cytotoxic agents and targeted anticancer drugs across the cell membrane. In recent years, studies found that ABC transporters and tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) interact with each other. TKIs may behave as substrates or inhibitors depending on the expression of specific pumps, drug concentration, their affinity for the transporters and types of co-administered agents. Therefore, we performed in vitro experiments to observe whether olmutinib could reverse MDR in cancer cells overexpressing ABCB1, ABCG2, or ABCC1 transporters. The results showed that olmutinib at 3 μM significantly reversed drug resistance mediated by ABCG2, but not by ABCB1 and ABCC1, by antagonizing the drug efflux function in ABCG2-overexpressing cells. In addition, olmutinib at reversal concentration affected neither the protein expression level nor the localization of ABCG2. The results observed from the accumulation/efflux study of olmutinib showed that olmutinib reversed ABCG2-mediated MDR with an increasing intracellular drug accumulation due to inhibited drug efflux. We also had consistent results with the ATPase assay that olmutinib stimulated ATPase activity of ABCG2 up to 3.5-fold. Additionally, the molecular interaction between olmutinib and ABCG2 was identified by docking simulation. Olmutinib not only interacts directly with ABCG2 but also works as a competitive inhibitor of the transport protein. In conclusion, olmutinib could reverse ABCG2-mediated MDR. The reversal effect of olmutinib on ABCG2-mediated MDR cells is not due to ABCG2 expression or intracellular localization, but rather related to its interaction with ABCG2 protein resulting in drug efflux inhibition and ATPase stimulation.
Zhang, W., Fan, Y. F., Cai, C. Y., Wang, J. Q., Teng, Q. X., Lei, Z. N., … Chen, Z. S. (2018). Olmutinib (BI1482694/HM61713), a novel epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor, reverses ABCG2-mediated multidrug resistance in cancer cells. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 9(OCT). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01097