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DS reverses multi-drug resistance in cancer cells

By far, it is well recognized that the overexpression of glycoprotein P-GP is one of the major mechanisms of multidrug resistance in cancer cells. The P-gp protein functions as an efflux pump to transport cytotoxic drugs out of cells so that cancer cells can survive the challenge of anti-cancer drugs.

Although several candidate chemicals for multidrug resistance reversal have been successfully experimented in in-vitro cell models, their mono-targeting property and associated severe adverse effects prevent their wide use in clinical medical practice.

Dr. Jia at UBC found that Dammarane Sapogenins can considerably inhibit the function of P-gp in tumor cells. In breast cancer cells, the treatment of Dammarane Sapogenins for 15 minutes significantly inhibited the function of P-gp as the fluorescence-tagged drug accumulated in Dammarane Sapogenin-treated cancer cells (figure b) in comparison with extremely weak fluorescence in untreated cancer cells (Figure a). This experiment proves that Dammarane Sapogenins are able to block the function of P-gp and raises the anti-cancer drug concentration in cancer cells so as to reverse the multidrug resistance and improve the chemotherapy efficacy.

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