Effect of ceritinib (LDK378) on enhancement of chemotherapeutic agents in ABCB1 and ABCG2 overexpressing cells in vitro and in vivo

Jing Hu, Xu Zhang, Fang Wang, Xiaokun Wang, Ke Yang, Meng Xu, Kenneth K W To, Qingshan Li, Liwu Fu
Oncotarget 2015 December 29, 6 (42): 44643-59
Multidrug resistance (MDR) is the leading cause of treatment failure in cancer chemotherapy. The overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, particularly ABCB1, ABCC1 and ABCG2, play a key role in mediating MDR by pumping anticancer drugs out from cancer cells. Ceritinib (LDK378) is a second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) currently in phase III clinical trial for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Here, we found that ceritinib remarkably enhanced the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs in ABCB1 or ABCG2 over-expressing cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Ceritinib significantly increased the intracellular accumulation of chemotherapeutic agents such as doxorubicin (DOX) by inhibiting ABCB1 or ABCG2-mediated drug efflux in the transporters-overexpressing cells. Mechanistically, ceritinib is likely a competitive inhibitor of ABCB1 and ABCG2 because it competed with [(125)I]-iodoarylazidoprazosin for photo affinity labeling of the transporters. On the other hand, at the transporters-inhibiting concentrations, ceritinib did not alter the expression level of ABCB1 and ABCG2, and phosphorylation status of AKT and ERK1/2. Thus the findings advocate further clinical investigation of combination chemotherapy of ceritinib and other conventional chemotherapeutic drugs in chemo-refractory cancer patients.

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