Multi drug resistance (MDR) is defined as the ability of tumor cells to become resistant to unrelated drugs. Tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib has been demonstrated to be effective in the treatment of certain tumors. In particular, imatinib inhibits Bcr-Abl kinase activity, c-kit and the phosphorylation of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptors. In this work, we show that imatinib inhibits PDGF phosphorylation not only in wt Kaposi sarcoma (KS) but also in multi drug resistant KS cells. This was associated with an increased apoptosis in wt cells and an increased autophagy in MDR-KS cells. These data add new insights to the possible use of imatinib in the overcoming of MDR in KS cells. © 2007 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
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