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Phytol and Heptacosane Are Possible Tools to Overcome Multidrug Resistance in an In Vitro Model of Acute Myeloid Leukemia

  • Autori: Manuela Labbozzetta; Paola Poma; Marco Tutone; James A. McCubrey; Maurizio Sajeva; Monica Notarbartolo
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


Drug resistance is the ability of cancer cells to gain resistance to both conventional and novel chemotherapy agents, and remains a major problem in cancer therapy. Resistance mechanisms are multifactorial and involve more strictly pharmacological factors, such as P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and biological factors such as inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAPs) and the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) pathway. Possible therapeutic strategies for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have increased in recent years; however, drug resistance remains a problem for most pa-tients. Phytol and heptacosane are the major compounds of Euphorbia intisy essential oil (EO) which were demonstrated to inhibit P-gp in a multidrug resistant in vitro model of AML. This study investigated the mechanism by which phytol and heptacosane improve P-gp-mediated drug transport. Phytol suppresses the P-gp expression via NF-kB inhibition and does not seem to act on the efflux system. Heptacosane acts as a substrate and potent P-gp inhibitor, demonstrating the ability to retain the substrate doxorubicin inside the cell and enhancing its cytotoxic effects. Our results suggest that these compounds act as non-toxic modulators of P-gp through different mechanisms and are able to revert P-gp-mediated drug resistance in tumor cells.