Ritonavir reverses resistance to docetaxel and cabazitaxel in prostate cancer cells with acquired resistance to docetaxel.


Aim: Docetaxel is a microtubule-stabilizing drug used for the treatment of several cancers, including prostate cancer. Resistance to docetaxel can either occur through intrinsic resistance or develop under therapeutic pressure, i.e., acquired resistance. A possible explanation for the occurrence of acquired resistance to docetaxel is increased drug efflux via P-glycoprotein (P-gp) drug transporters. Methods: We have generated docetaxel-resistant cell lines DU-145DOC10 and 22Rv1DOC8 by exposing parental cell lines DU-145DOC and 22Rv1 to increasing levels of docetaxel. Gene expression levels between DU-145DOC10 and 22Rv1DOC8 were compared with those of their respective originator cell lines. Both parental and resistant cell lines were treated with the taxane drugs docetaxel and cabazitaxel in combination with the P-gp/CYP3A4 inhibitor ritonavir and the P-gp inhibitor elacridar. Results: In the docetaxel-resistant cell lines DU-145DOC10 and 22Rv1DOC8, the ABCB1 (P-gp) gene was highly up-regulated. Expression of the P-gp protein was also significantly increased in the docetaxel-resistant cell lines in a Western blotting assay. The addition of ritonavir to docetaxel resulted in a return of the sensitivity to docetaxel in the DU-145DOC10 and 22Rv1DOC8 to a level similar to the sensitivity in the originator cells. We found that these docetaxel-resistant cell lines could also be re-sensitized to cabazitaxel in a similar manner. In a Caco-2 P-gp transporter assay, functional inhibition of P-gp-mediated transport of docetaxel with ritonavir was demonstrated. Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that ritonavir restores sensitivity to both docetaxel and cabazitaxel in docetaxel-resistant cell lines, most likely by inhibiting P-gp-mediated drug efflux.

More about this publication

Cancer drug resistance (Alhambra, Calif.)
  • Volume 7
  • Pages 3
  • Publication date 06-02-2024

This site uses cookies

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.