Pharmacol Res 2016 08 4;110:193-204. Epub 2016 Apr 4.
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Macau Institute For Applied Research in Medicine and Health, Macau University of Science and Technology, Avenida Wai Long, Taipa, Macau (SAR), China. Electronic address:
Multidrug resistance (MDR) and tumor metastasis are the main causes of chemotherapeutic treatment failure and mortality in cancer patients. In this study, at achievable nontoxic plasma concentrations, citrus flavonoid tangeretin has been shown to reverse ABCB1-mediated cancer resistance to a variety of chemotherapeutic agents effectively. Co-treatment of cells with tangeretin and paclitaxel activated apoptosis as well as arrested cell cycle at G2/M-phase. Tangeretin profoundly inhibited the ABCB1 transporter activity since it significantly increased the intracellular accumulation of doxorubicin, and flutax-2 in A2780/T cells and decreased the efflux of ABCB1 substrates in Caco2 cells without altering the expression of ABCB1. Moreover, it stimulated the ATPase activity and inhibited verapamil-stimulated ATPase activity in a concentration-dependent manner, indicating a direct interaction with the transporter. The molecular docking results indicated a favorable binding of tangeretin with the transmemberane region site 1 of homology modeled ABCB1 transporter. The overall results demonstrated that tangeretin could sensitize ABCB1-overexpressing cancer cells to chemotherapeutical agents by directly inhibiting ABCB1 transporter function, which encouraged further animal and clinical studies in the treatment of resistant cancers.