The overexpression of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters has been proved to be a major trigger for multidrug resistance (MDR) in certain types of cancer. In our study, we investigated whether osimertinib (AZD9291), a third-generation irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitor of both activating EGFR mutations and resistance-associated T790M point mutation, could reverse MDR induced by ABCB1 and ABCG2 in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo. Our results showed that osimertinib significantly increased the sensitivity of ABCB1- and ABCG2-overexpressing cells to their substrate chemotherapeutic agents in vitro and in the model of ABCB1-overexpressing KBv200 cell xenograft in nude mice. Mechanistically, osimertinib increased the intracellular accumulations of doxorubicin (DOX) and Rhodamine 123 (Rho 123) by inhibiting the efflux function of the transporters in ABCB1- or ABCG2-overexpressing cells but not in their parental sensitive cells. Furthermore, osimertinib stimulated the ATPase activity of both ABCB1 and ABCG2 and competed with the [125I] iodoarylazidoprazosin photolabeling bound to ABCB1 or ABCG2, but did not alter the localization and expression of ABCB1 or ABCG2 in mRNA and protein levels nor the phosphorylations of EGFR, AKT, and ERK. Importantly, osimertinib also enhanced the cytotoxicity of DOX and intracellular accumulation of Rho 123 in ABCB1-overexpressing primary leukemia cells. Overall, these findings suggest osimertinib reverses ABCB1- and ABCG2-mediated MDR via inhibiting ABCB1 and ABCG2 from pumping out chemotherapeutic agents and provide possibility for cancer combinational therapy with osimertinib in the clinic. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(8); 1845–58. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Online (http://mct.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received December 3, 2015.
- Revision received March 30, 2016.
- Accepted May 2, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.