Multidrug resistance reversal and apoptosis induction in human colon cancer cells by some flavonoids present in citrus plants.
J Nat Prod. 2012 Nov 26 ;75(11):1896-902. Epub 2012 Nov 8. PMID: 23137376
Multidrug resistance (MDR) of cancer cells constitutes one of the main reasons for chemotherapy failure. The search for nontoxic modulators that reduce MDR is a task of great importance. An ability to enhance apoptosis of resistant cells would also be beneficial. In the present study, the MDR reversal and apoptosis-inducing potency of three flavonoids produced by Citrus plants, namely, naringenin (1a), aromadendrin (2), and tangeretin (3), and the methylated naringenin derivatives (1b, 1c), have been studied in sensitive (LoVo) and multidrug-resistant (LoVo/Dx) human colon adenocarcinoma cells. Cytotoxicity of methoxylated flavonoids was higher as compared to hydroxylated analogues. Only 3 turned out to inhibit P-glycoprotein, as demonstrated by a rhodamine 123 accumulation assay. It also increased doxorubicin accumulation in LoVo/Dx cells and enabled doxorubicin to enter cellular nuclei. In addition, 3 was found to be an effective MDR modulator in resistant cells by sensitizing them to doxorubicin. Tangeretin-induced caspase-3 activation and elevated surface phosphatidylserine exposure demonstrated its apoptosis-inducing activity in LoVo/Dx cells, while the other flavonoids evaluated were not active. Additionally, 3 was more toxic to resistant rather than to sensitive cancer cells. Its apoptosis-inducing activity was also higher in LoVo/Dx than in LoVo cells. It was concluded that the activity of 3 against multidrug-resistant cancer cells may be enhanced by its apoptosis-inducing activity.