Cancer Science & Therapy

ISSN: 1948-5956

Open Access

The Association Between Cancer and ABC Transporters


Seyyed Hossein Hassanpour, Mohammad Amin Dehghani, Seyyed Mozaffar Alipour and Seyyedeh Zeinab Karami

Many cancers resist to chemotherapy drugs during treatment and it have been proposed various mechanisms in connection with drug resistance. High expression of ATP-dependent membrane proteins as a family of ATP binding cassette (ABC) are one of the main reasons for drug resistance so that P-glycoprotein (a member of this family) plays an important role in drug resistance. ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are an example of ATP-dependent pumps. ABC transporters are ubiquitous membrane-bound proteins, present in all prokaryotes, as well as plants, fungi, yeast and animals. These pumps can move substrates in (influx) or out (efflux) of cells. In mammals, ABC transporters are expressed predominantly in the liver, intestine, blood-brain barrier, blood-testis barrier, placenta and kidney. In addition, multidrug resistance associated protein as other membrane of this family is involved in drug resistance. These proteins have property of endogenous substrates transferring. Over-expression of these proteins in cancer cells is most important obstacle to treat cancer. However, drug resistance can occur through other ways such as anti-cancer drugs associated with metabolism purines and pyrimidines or microtubules dysfunction. In this review, mechanisms of drug resistance were described.


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