Inhibition of P-glycoprotein by natural products in human breast cancer cells

Multidrug resistance (MDR) is one of the most significant obstacles in cancer chemotherapy. One of the mechanisms involved in the development of MDR is the over-expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp). It is widely known that natural compounds found in vegetables, fruits, plant-derived beverages and herbal dietary supplements not only have anticancer properties, but may also modulate P-gp activity. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of naturally occurring products on P-gp function in human breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 (sensitive) and MCF-7/ADR (resistant). The accumulation of daunomycin (DNM), a P-gp substrate, was greater in the sensitive cells compared to the resistant cells, while the efflux of DNM was higher in the resistant cells compared to the sensitive cells over a period of 2 h. The IC50 value of DNM in the resistant cells was about 22 times higher than that in the sensitive cells, indicating an over-expression of P-gp in the resistant cells, MCF-7/ADR. All of the compounds tested, with the exception of fisetin, significantly decreased the IC50 value of DNM. Biochanin A showed the greatest increase in [3H]-DNM accumulation, increasing by 454.3±19.5% in the resistant cells, whereas verapamil, the positive control, increased the accumulation by 229.4±17.6%. Also, the accumulation of [3H]-DNM was increased substantially by quercetin and silymarin while it was reduced by fisetin. Moreover, biochanin A, silymarin, and naringenin significantly decreased DNM efflux from MCF-7/ADR cells compared with the control. These results suggest that some flavonoids such as biochanin A and silymarin may reverse MDR by inhibiting the P-gp function.
Chung SY, Sung MK, Kim NH, et al. Archives of Pharmacal Research. Volume 28, Number 7 (2005), 823-828, DOI: 10.1007/BF02977349

Pharmacokinetics and Bioavailability of the Isoflavone Biochanin A in Rats
Biochanin A (BCA) is a dietary isoflavone present in legumes, most notably red clover, and in many herbal dietary supplements. BCA has been reported to have chemopreventive properties and is metabolized to the isoflavone genistein (GEN), BCA conjugates, and GEN conjugates. The metabolites may contribute to the chemopreventive effects of BCA. The absorption, metabolism, and disposition of BCA have not been determined in rats. Our objective was to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and metabolism of BCA in rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered BCA by intravenous injection (1 and 5 mg/kg), by intraperitoneal injection (5 and 50 mg/kg), and orally (5 and 50 mg/kg). Plasma and bile samples were enzymatically hydrolyzed in vitro to determine conjugate concentrations for BCA and GEN. Equilibrium dialysis was used to determine protein binding. The BCA and GEN concentrations in plasma, urine, and bile were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). The pharmacokinetic parameters of BCA were analyzed by noncompartmental analysis. Significant levels of BCA conjugates and GEN conjugates were detected in plasma and bile. Both BCA and GEN were found to have a high clearance and a large apparent volume of distribution; the bioavailability of both was poor (<4%). Reentry peaks were evident after oral administration of both BCA and GEN, suggesting enterohepatic cycling. The free fraction of BCA in rat plasma was 1.5%. A 2-compartment model that included both linear and nonlinear clearance terms and enterohepatic recirculation best described the plasma data. This represents the first evaluation of the dose-dependent pharmacokinetics and metabolism of BCA in rats.
Moon YJ, Sagawa K, Frederick K, Zhang S, Morris ME. Pharmacokinetics and Bioavailability of the Isoflavone Biochanin A in Rats. AAPS Journal. 2006; 8(3): E433-E442. DOI: 10.1208/aapsj080351

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