Itraconazole Reverts ABCB1-Mediated Docetaxel Resistance in Prostate Cancer

Thiago S Lima, Luciano O Souza, Diego Iglesias-Gato, Johanna Elversang, Flemming Steen Jørgensen, Tuula Kallunki, Martin A Røder, Klaus Brasso, José M A Moreira


Docetaxel (DTX) was the first chemotherapeutic agent to demonstrate significant efficacy in the treatment of men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. However, response to DTX is generally short-lived, and relapse eventually occurs due to emergence of drug-resistance. We previously established two DTX-resistant prostate cancer cell lines, LNCaPR and C4-2BR, derived from the androgen-dependent LNCaP cell line, and from the LNCaP lineage-derived androgen-independent C4-2B sub-line, respectively. Using an unbiased drug screen, we identify itraconazole (ITZ), an oral antifungal drug, as a compound that can efficiently re-sensitize drug-resistant LNCaPR and C4-2BR prostate cancer cells to DTX treatment. ITZ can re-sensitize multiple DTX-resistant cell models, not only in prostate cancer derived cells, such as PC-3 and DU145, but also in docetaxel-resistant breast cancer cells. This effect is dependent on expression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter protein ABCB1, also known as P-glycoprotein (P-gp). Molecular modeling of ITZ bound to ABCB1, indicates that ITZ binds tightly to the inward-facing form of ABCB1 thereby inhibiting the transport of DTX. Our results suggest that ITZ may provide a feasible approach to re-sensitization of DTX resistant cells, which would add to the life-prolonging effects of DTX in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number869461
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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