Survivin up-regulates the expression of breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP) through attenuating the suppression of p53 on NF-κB expression in MCF-7/5-FU cells

Qing-ping Wang, Yu Wang, Xue-dong Wang, Xi-ming Mo, Juan Gu, Zhi-yong Lu, Zhao-lin Pan, Yu-xi Zhu
International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology 2013, 45 (9): 2036-44
Both breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP, ABCG2) and apoptosis-related molecules are involved in the development of multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer cells. However, the association of BCRP with apoptosis-related molecules in the development of MDR is unknown. In this study, we investigated the changes in expression levels of BCRP, Survivin, p53, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL or Bax in cultured MCF-7 and MCF-7/5-FU cells, and explored whether these changes affected the expressions of BCRP. Our data showed that the protein and mRNA expression levels of BCRP, Survivin and Bcl-2 were significantly higher in MCF-7/5-FU cells than in MCF-7 cells, while p53 expression lower in MCF-7/5-FU cells than in MCF-7 cells. Knockdown of Survivin or Bcl-2 in MCF-7/5-FU cells and overexpression of Survivin in MCF-7 cells revealed that Survivin had significant association with BCRP expression. Luciferase reporter gene assays showed that Survivin up-regulated BCRP expression at transcriptional level and this response was mediated through NF-κB(p50) pathway. However, may be due to the physical interaction between p53 and Survivin, p53 directly affected Survivin-regulated BCRP expressions. Interestingly, we found that Survivin would suppress p53 expression. Furthermore, our data revealed that Survivin itself had no apparent effect on NF-κB(p50) and BCRP expression when knockdown of p53 in MCF-7 cells; whereas p53 exerted significant inhibitory action on these when knockdown of Survivin. In conclusion, through down regulation of p53 expression, Survivin attenuates the suppressing effect of p53 on NF-κB(p50) expression and then enhances BCRP expression. This may represent a novel strategy for reversal of BCRP drug transporter activity to modulate MDR in cancer cells.

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